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Auctions power ahead while estate agent sales dwindle

The auction market continues to prosper while estate agent sales are still struggling, according to research conducted by Auction House.

The auctioneer analysed the latest data from the Land Registry and found that 2017 experienced a 21% decrease in residential sales compared to 2016, while its own auction figures were at record levels.

Roger Lake, founding director of Auction House, commented: “We had an excellent year in 2017 with 3,485 lots sold – which is over 1,250 ahead of the second largest auctioneer. Also, our entries this month are up again year-on-year, with 740 lots catalogued for February, a total which is 5% ahead of the number in 2017.”


Lake believes the rise is due to auctions becoming more mainstream. He explained: “Auction is a much faster way to sell, success rates are far higher, and when the hammer falls contracts have exchanged and the sale is certain.”

“What’s more,” he went on, “for the right property, auction will often deliver a better price through competitive bidding from several interested buyers.”

“But a key element is ensuring a sale’s success is to enter the property into a regional auction room, rather than one that is out of area. We’ve found that local properties sell for more money to local buyers through nearby auction rooms.”

According to Lake, a wide variety of properties fall into the category of being most suited to auction. Properties that would benefit from refurbishment, renovation or development are deemed right for auction, as well as those properties that have other factors that make them unmortgageable, such as a short lease or structural concerns.

“We regularly sell commercial lots, mixed use, all sorts of land, plus ground rents and all manner of unusual lots,” he continued. “We also sell residential investments for landlords who leave their tenants in residence when selling – the big benefit here is that the seller keeps receiving rent until completion and the purchasing landlord takes over the tenancy and draws income from the day they complete their purchase.”

Lake added: “Selling by auction really does make sense. That’s why it is growing in popularity, becoming more mainstream and delivering a speedy result for an increasing number of sellers.”


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