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Auction market sees house sales activity remain firm

Residential property auction sales remained relatively firm in April despite the introduction of the new stamp duty surcharge, according to official figures from Essential Information Group (EIG).

The number of residential lots sold last month fell marginally by 1.4%, owed in part to a 1.8% decline in the volume of lots offered for sale, and yet residential auction receipts totalled £213.3m - up 3.1% on April 2015.

The rolling quarterly figures show double-digit rises in lots offered, lots sold and amount raised, as a consequence of the unprecedented auction results that the industry has witnessed in the first few months of this year, breaking some long-standing records in the process as property buyers rushed to complete transactions before the new stamp duty surcharge was introduced on 1 April.


“The recent changes to the stamp duty land tax payable on buy-to-let and second homes has not had the detrimental effect on the auction market that some people may have feared,” said David Sandeman (pictured), managing director, EIG.

“It was very much business as usual in the auction market.”

However, there was a sharp decline in commercial property auction activity in April, with the volume of lots sold falling by 38% from 372 to 231 lots, driven largely by the fact that the number of lots offered for sale dropped to 333 lots from 511 in April 2015 – down 35% month-on-month.

Sandeman continued: “Given that 141 fewer lots sold it is not surprising to see a drop in commercial receipts - down 18.6% to £28.9m, but whilst these numbers are down it should be noted that none of the major London commercial auction houses held an auction in April so the drop is entirely due to variations in the stock offered by regional auctioneers.”

Overall, 139 property auctions were held across the UK in April, with 2,462 lots going under the hammer - down 8.1% on last year. Lots sold fell by a similar amount, from 1,965 to 1,802 lots, whilst the amount raised was comparable at £242.2m.

“The rolling quarterly figures show growth of 5% in lots offered and lot sold, and a huge 23% gain in the amount raised compared with the same period last year - over £250m in real terms,” Sandeman added. 


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