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Auction house reports £5m in sales as investors turn to online property platform

Pugh, an auction house with auction rooms in Manchester and Leeds, has reported £5 million worth of sales for its April property auctions.

This comes even in spite of them being switched from the traditional auction rooms to online sales after the introduction of social distancing regulations in March.

The auctioneer sold a total of 51 lots at last month’s online sale, with a combined value of £4.8 million. Across the auction, the properties and plots of land sold realised sale prices 24% higher than guide prices.

Paul Thompson, Pugh’s managing director, said the success of the firm’s existing online sales, held in addition to its regular auctions in Manchester and Leeds, made the transition of its entire operation to an online platform less challenging.

“The launch of our April auction catalogue coincided with the Prime Minister’s lockdown announcement, however our online sales, in which we had successfully sold 100% of the lots up for auction, had already been underway for over 12 months,” he said. “This made it relatively easy for us to switch the whole process online, with a smooth transition for both buyers and sellers.”

He said that, while some vendors were nervous initially, serial investors are still seeing value in property and land despite the ongoing restrictions.

“The high rates of enquiries, pre-auction offers and legal pack downloads continue to speak for themselves and prove the market is still buoyant,” he added.

Thompson said the April auction was a useful test for the lockdown market and highlighted that, going against the general narrative, there is certainly still an appetite among investors to buy.

“We’ve also seen that the online option actually provides flexibility for clients, with bespoke auction dates and the added security of registered and anti-money-laundering-checked bidders paying a pre-authorised deposit before they bid.”

Pugh’s next online auction, featuring properties and land across the UK, will take place on June 2, with registration closing on June 1. The full auction catalogue is available to view at www.pugh-auctions.com.

Pugh, which counts itself as the country’s largest commercial property auctioneer, offered more than 1,000 lots for sale at its Manchester and Leeds auction venues in 2019, generating over £90 million in sales. Its clients include private individuals, charities, corporates and public sector organisations.

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