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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Hundreds of properties sold via online auction during lockdown

The UK's largest auction firm, Auction House, has revealed that it has sold hundreds of properties via live-stream and online auctions during the lockdown period.

During April, when the most severe restrictions were in place, the firm offered 342 lots, selling 220 at a success rate of just over 64%.

These sales raised a total of £20.7 million for property sellers.

Despite the government restrictions, Auction House has been able to deliver over 60% of its normal level of sales. It says bidding numbers and competition have been strong, with some lots attracting in excess of 100 bids and being hammered down at impressive prices.

"Whilst there has been a reduction in entry numbers as some private sellers hold back, our core supply of listings is continuing and regular auction buyers are still very active," explains Auction House founding director Roger Lake.

"Our regional auction teams have first-hand knowledge of properties in their area, we have a database of capable, cash-ready buyers and we are delivering a high volume of sales through competitive bidding."

All the firm's auction have been run with remote bidding by telephone, proxy or online and Lake says live streaming and online sales have been smooth and efficient.

"Our remote bidding systems are functioning well and we have already proved that we can market and sell auction lots very effectively despite the lockdown," he says.

"We are also making full use of video tours, virtual viewings and Facebook Live events, which are proving valuable additions to our marketing programme."

The firm has also revealed the details of some of its upcoming standout lots, including a former Roman Catholic church in Wigan going under the hammer in Auction House North West's sale on June 18.

The property has been empty since 1993, when it closed due to a dwindling congregation. Demolition was subsequently prevented by English Heritage and the property was awarded Grade II listed status.

The development comes with nine flats in need of refurbishment, and has a guide price of £225,000-£250,000.

Lake concludes: "We’re delivering impressive results and remain confident that the auction route will continue to function well in this changed environment."

"My message to sellers to sellers of vacant properties and land is - call us anytime: we are ready and able to find you a buyer, get an exchange and arrange a completion with the speed and certainty associated with auction."

"And to buyers – we have keenly priced stock and a wide choice of lots which should be of interest."

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