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Auction roundup – looking back at a successful September

The theme of this week’s roundup is reflection, as Allsop and SDL Auctions report successful auction results for September, while Auction House claims that auctions may eventually sound the death knell for sealed bids.

Auctions could bring an end to sealed bids, says auctioneer

Auction House says the increased success of auction could help bring about the end of sealed bids, otherwise known as ‘best-and-final-offers’.

Sealed bids usually come into play where there is significant interest in a particular property, and so potential buyers are invited to submit their offer to an estate agent before a pre-agreed deadline, without knowing the size of any other offers being put forward.

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Auction House managing director Jeremy Prior explains: “The simple truth is that sealed bids do a massive disservice to the seller by failing to achieve what could be raised in the competitive environment of an auction room.”

“Random single offers in envelopes are rarely likely to reach the heights of figures obtained in an open and transparent bidding process, where a talented auctioneer can ensure that the best price for the property can be achieved.”

“Not only that, unless you’re buying in Scotland, sealed bids are not legally binding and either party can pull out of the deal at any time.”

Prior says, by contrast, when the hammer falls in an auction room, it represents a binding exchange of contract between the two parties. He advised sellers who are thinking about using the ‘best-and-final offers’ option with an estate agent to consider auction instead.

His comments come after the release of the latest Auction House figures, where the group raised its highest September total ever, as well as recording its best year ever for the total raised during Q1 to Q3 – more than £120 million above its previous record total in 2018.

Prior says: “It’s been an astonishing year for us. In fact, we’ve raised more in the first three quarters of this year, than we’ve raised in an entire 12 months in the past. There’s no doubt that for the first time in the group’s 14-year history, we’re going to hit the half a billion pound milestone by the end of the year.”

“This reflects the fact that auctions are appealing to a bigger section of the buying public – not only those who want to invest and trade, but also those who want to buy properties to live in. In other words, not just buy-to-let, but also buy-to-live.”

In September, Auction House sold 463 properties from 559 offered – a success rate of £82.8% – and raised a total of £85,586,151. This means that in the year to date, the group has sold 2,640 properties from 3,186 offered – with a similar success rate of 82.9%, and raised a total of £449,733,079.

“It looks like the English property market is starting to catch up with the Australian one, where the majority of properties are sold by auction,” Prior adds. “But before that happens, it seems clear that canny vendors will wish for their properties to be sold by auction instead of best-and-final offers.”

“My sincere hope is that this will sound the deal knell for sealed bids, and they become a thing of the past.”

Allsop sets new record of £57.3m at September resi auction

Allsop’s sixth residential auction of the year raised £57.3 million on 159 lots, with a success rate of 79%.

On the day of the auction, there were 5,770 bids and more than 1,166 bidder registrations. Of the 159 lots sold, 12 were purchased for £1 million or above, while the average lot size was £360,439.

Richard Adamson, partner and auctioneer at Allsop, comments: “We’re thrilled to have raised £57.3 million at our September auction, making it the largest residential sale for Allsop this year. Despite the easing of Covid restrictions, we’re still operating in an uncertain environment, which means residential property continues to be the asset of choice for many investors looking for predictable returns and stability.”

“It’s great to see that the demand for residential property in the UK shows no signs of slowing down, and despite the end of the Stamp Duty holiday, the volume of buyers has anything but decreased.”

Over the past two weeks, Allsop has raised in excess of £160 million from across its residential and commercial auctions. Since the start of lockdown, circa £1.4 billion worth of residential and commercial property has been sold through the auction arm of the business.

Auction highlights include:

  • Lot 118 – a freehold semi-detached building in Willesden Green, London, in need of renovation, sold at £1.3m (originally guided at £920,000)
  • Lot 1 – an unmodernised two-bedroom maisonette in Islington, London, sold for £706,000, well above the guide price of £310,000, having received 396 bids
  • Lot 6 – a freehold detached four-bedroom house in Epsom, Surrey, sold for £702,000 (originally guided at £350,000), with 59 buyers having registered to bid for the property
  • Lot 113 – a partially completed freehold development sold at £712,000 (originally guided at £350,000)

Allsop’s next residential auction will be held online on November 9 2021.

Record sales and award shortlists - a September celebration for SDL Property Auctions

SDL Property Auctions reported a ‘spectacular’ September of sales, where it held the biggest live-streamed auction in the UK for the second month running.

There are no signs of a post-stamp duty holiday slump for the auction house, with high demand all month long from buyers in Timed Auctions on its website and in its record-breaking live-streamed auction on the last day of the month. 

Managing director and auctioneer Andrew Parker says: “We held our live-streamed auction on the last day of the stamp duty holiday but, despite the dips seen elsewhere in the property market, the removal of this boost has had no effect on our sales.”

“Demand for our quick and faff-free services is as strong as ever and it gives us great pleasure both to achieve wonderful results for our sellers and to help our buyers find their next project or home.”

One stand-out lot which caused a stir in the National Property Auction was a West Midlands hotel in Walsall which sold for an impressive £1,232,000 from guide price of £850,000-plus. With attractive wooden staircases and stained glass windows, The County Hotel in Birmingham Road, Walsall has 46 bedrooms, three large function rooms, two meeting rooms and a licence for weddings for up to 440 people. 

Auction roundup – looking back at a successful September

There was equally lively bidding for a plot of land in a popular Derbyshire village. Backing onto the National Trust’s Kedleston Estate, the land between 53 and 73 Church Road in Quarndon is a 0.4 acre site providing a potential infill plot for individual dwelling, with an alternative scheme proposed for six houses, subject to planning permission. The plot was offered with a guide price of £50,000-plus and raised £241,500 for the delighted seller.

Family homes proved as popular as ever, too, including an attractive bay-fronted three bedroomed semi-detached house in Leicester. 25 Oakside Crescent in Evington has a large rear garden providing scope for an extension subject to planning permission. Bidders saw its potential and it sold for £340,000 from a guide price of £225,000-plus.

Bidding was no less enthusiastic in Timed Auctions throughout the month and a property in Cornwall drew no fewer than 164 bids, selling for £202,000 from a guide price of £104,500-plus. Sold in partnership with Miller Countrywide Camborne, 27 Treslothan Road in Troon, near Camborne is a semi-detached house requiring refurbishment. It has three bedrooms, two reception rooms, a sunroom, garage, gardens front and rear and stunning rear views.  

On top of auction sales, SDL Property Auctions has been double-shortlisted in the Negotiator Awards, in the categories for Residential Auction Service of the Year and Website of the Year. The entries will be judged by a panel of industry experts and the winners will be announced at a gala dinner in London at the end of November.

Parker comments: “This is a huge honour and a reflection of the dedication of our hardworking team. Learning that we have been double shortlisted in these prestigious awards is the icing on the cake of another successful month.”

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