The UK's largest auction network, Auction House, says that the introduction of the 3% stamp duty surcharge in April has paved the way for more first-time buyers to purchase property at auction.
Roger Lake, the network's founding director, says the additional tax on buy-to-let investors and second home owners favours first-time buyers, a demographic which he suggests have been visiting auction rooms more frequently since April.
Lake says the landscape has changed significantly from the days when 'cash-ready buyers were invariably the winning bidders'.
"Auction now provides a real opportunity for first time buyers to get a foot on the property ladder. Together with a plentiful supply of mortgage funds and this month’s drop in the base rate to a record low level, all the ingredients are in place for first time buyers to fare very well," he says.
“We are seeing examples of mortgage offers being issued within two weeks of application and there are deals around now where lenders are waiving application fees so there are first time and family buyers in our auction rooms with mortgage offers in place without any upfront spend."
Despite the changing faces of attendees, Auction House has reported a set of 'better-than-expected' figures for July.
The group sold 385 lots from 526 offered, delivering a success rate of 73% and raising a total of £50.5 million.
"The Brexit factor led to forecasts of doom and gloom which in reality we found to be wildly exaggerated," comments Lake.
"Whilst uncertainty is never helpful, and auctioneers had to be more selective with the stock being offered in their rooms, we still managed to achieve a very successful month of sales.”
He says that all of the firm's regional auctions have performed well during the post-Brexit period and that he expects an early return to normal trading levels in the autumn.