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Auction Roundup – remember, remember, the sales in November

As we reach the end of October, Property Investor Today looks at how auction houses have been preparing for November auctions - with lots on offer all across the UK, from southern England to Liverpool and many other place in-between.

Clive Emson gears up for November auction

Clive Emson is registering 122 online lots for its November sale across southern England.


Its previous auction in September raised in excess of £21 million for clients and the sale recorded an overall success rate of nearly 80%, with more than 100 properties exchanging contracts for clients.

During the campaign, the firm took more than 5,450 phone calls, with 3,447 legal packs downloaded and the website attracting nearly 100,000 page views.

The auction team is now starting the marketing campaign for the latest online auction, with the timers ending on Wednesday November 4.

Managing director James Emson comments: “The year has presented challenges for everyone including the property profession.”

“However, the whole team has pulled together throughout, offering a great service to clients embracing technology that although we have had in place for a number of years has not been widely used previously.”

He adds: “Hopefully, at some point next year, we may be able to once again have a ballroom auction option for our clients, but this really depends on both the current situation and enabling everyone to have a fair opportunity to bid.”

Highlights of the penultimate auction of the year include:

  • Instructed by trustees, a former village primary school near Maidstone in Kent (£425,000-plus), with an adjacent schoolhouse (£350,000-plus). The former Harrietsham School is in Harrietsham.

  • A disused water tower at Felsted in Essex, with telephone mast investment currently let at £10,600 per annum (£140,000-plus).

  • Being offered by Prince Charles’ The Duchy of Cornwall as ‘Bona Vacantia’ (ownerless property), the former St Paul’s church in Penzance, Cornwall (£50,000-plus).

  • Block of 18 residential garages in Hastings, East Sussex, currently let at £2,935 per annum (£80-90,000).

  • Now derelict, a former town centre community hall and Georgian-era school at Ryde, Isle of Wight (nil reserve).

  • Coastal defences against Napoleonic invasion threats, part of 26 acres and built in 1798 at Dungeness, Kent (£50,000-plus).

Scottish retail park and 200-acre farm on offer at BidX1 sale

Digital property investment platform BidX1 will hold two auctions next month, following a 91% success rate in September.

The first auction on November 4 will see 49 residential and commercial lots go under the hammer, with a combined capital value of £17.5 million, while its 26 November sale will feature a bespoke sale of eleven flats in Hackney and Tower Hamlets.

It’s opening auction includes Westway Retail Park in Cumbernauld, Scotland – the highest value property on offer at £6.5 million. BidX1 is working with Savills to bring the heritable, 11-unit retail park to market. It has a net initial yield of 13.76% and a low capital value of £47.89 per sq ft.

Constructed in 2006, Westway is anchored by 74.1% of the current income, with other key national tenants including Halfords, Carpetright and Pets at Home. The park currently generates a gross passing rent of £1,051,950 per annum, with a net operating income of £946,512 per annum.

Planning permission is in place for a further 194,672 sq ft of retail warehousing, whilst an application for Planning Permission in Principle (PPP) for 303,552 sq ft of mixed uses (including a cinema, commercial leisure, hotel, food/beverage, foodstore, business incubator and car showrooms) is due to be presented to Planning Committee next month.

Another highlight from the latest offering is Ty-Gwn Farm, a 214-acre property in Mid Wales with sweeping views across the Irfon Valley, offered on behalf of executors. 

Situated on the edge of the Brecon Beacons and Cambrian Mountains, and just a mile from the picturesque town of Llanwrtyd Wells, the property offers some 168 acres of green pastures and 46 acres of woodland. It has a guide price of £675,000-£825,000.

Meanwhile, BidX1’s second November auction will offer eleven flats located in Hackney and Tower Hamlets. The properties, all of which are being offered with vacant possession, range in price from a guide of £185,000 for a one bedroom flat in Bethnal Green to £410,000 for a four bedroom flat in Hackney. The online specialists have arranged the bespoke sale for a major housing association.

Head of commercial auctions Oliver Childs comments: “We’re ramping up activity as we move towards year-end, in order to allow clients to benefit from the robust investor demand for UK real estate.”

“Working with Savills on the sale of Westway Retail Park means the vendor benefits from a combined skillset and therefore a greater depth of expertise and advisory. This approach is likely to become increasingly attractive for clients who want to ensure optimal outcomes for their assets.”

Last month, BidX1 raised more than £22 million through various auctions, with a success rate of 91%. This included the sale of two North-West shopping centres in Liverpool and Ellesmere Port, also offered in conjunction with Savills. Both schemes were purchased prior to auction by a property company in excess of the combined guide price of £7.6 million.

Sutton Kersh autumn auction achieves £9 million

Sutton Kersh’s penultimate auction of the year generated sales worth over £9 million and sold over 90 lots in total.

The team sold just over £4.2 million worth of property prior to auction and a further £5 million on the day (October 22), with over 350 people registered to bid.

The day started off strong, with lot 1, a two-bed mid-terrace in Widness, selling for £34,000 above the guide price of £45,000.

Other two and three-bed terraced properties that drew a lot of attention were lot 26, located on Muriel Street in L4, which was in need of a full upgrade and had 22 people registered to bid. It eventually sold for £41,000 over the guide price.

Lot 63 on Grantham Street in Liverpool had a guide of just £40,000 and sold for £74,000. This was considered ‘the perfect buy’ for someone looking for an investment property that would also be suitable for rental.

A rental investment property which generated a lot of interest was lot 39 in L30, which sold for £23,500 above its £50,000 guide price. Meanwhile, another investment property in Liverpool, a mixed use three-storey development on Smithdown Road, sold for £35,000 over the guide.

Highlights outside of Liverpool included an apartment in London which sold for £260,000, a cottage in Connah’s Quay which was bought for just under £100,000 and a one-bedroom apartment in Sheffield which sold for £41,000 over the guide price.

Cathy Holt, associate director of Sutton Kersh, comments: “Our results show that residential properties which are suitable for investment purposes are highly desired and vendors are receiving above their asking price as a result of this increase in demand.”

“I am also delighted that through this pandemic we have still produced such high results and yesterday’s auction brings our total value of sales so far this year to over £47 million and 464 lots sold.”

Sutton Kersh will be holding its last auction of 2020 on 10 December.


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