Properties which are well located, have a reliable income stream or offer the potential to add value will continue to attract keen bidding from ‘yield-hungry investors’, according to Allsop, the UK’s largest property auction house.
Strong investor demand for commercial property has helped Allsop’s commercial division raise £365m at its auctions to date in 2016, compared to £278m raised in the corresponding period last year.
According to its ‘Commercial Auctions Summer Review 2016’, Allsop sold 577 lots with an overall success rate of 89%, as investors remain undeterred by the EU referendum result and the change to stamp duty.
Compared to last year, demand for higher value lots increased, with 96 lots sold at or in excess of £1m, a year-on-year increase of 28%. Of those lots, 29 sold at or in excess of £2 million, an increase of 81%.
With little sign of the impending turmoil in the political world, the results of the May auction showed investor interest motivated by more favourable SDLT rates compared to the buy-to-let sector. £118m was raised, compared to £72m in 2015.
The report highlights that the July auction, the first property auction held after the referendum, was well attended, with many watching the market for any signs of weakness. Despite uncertainties, investor demand was strong and Allsop raised £69m with an 86% success rate. Overall buyer sentiment remained positive with 78% of buyers saying they would buy again in the next 12 months.
George Walker, partner and auctioneer at Allsop, said: “To date this has been an excellent year for the commercial auction market. Although the implications of Brexit will not be fully realised for several years, our July auction shows that investors remain undeterred from investing in commercial property. The majority of buyers were using cash and were prepared to take a pragmatic and long term view.
“The other story for 2016 is the change to rates in both the commercial and residential sectors. Changes in SDLT, which have resulted in lower rates for commercial properties under £1m and an increase on residential property by 3%, together with reductions in tax relief for buy-to-let, has further enhanced the appeal of commercial property investment.
“Furthermore, with negative returns on government bonds, and very low interest rates, we expect demand to remain strong from yield-hungry investors.”