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Auction roundup – normalising auctions, MMoA and more valuers needed

This week’s auction roundup involves another bumper month for SDL Property Auctions as it partners with Rightmove to revolutionise auctions, as well as some encouraging words from iamsold and a successful holiday home sale with Brown&Co.

Lots span all four corners of the country with SDL Property Auctions

A trio of live-streamed auctions featuring lots spanning all four corners of the country is expected to bring another successful month for SDL Property Auctions to a close.

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From the north of Scotland down to the Devon coast, the lots going under the hammer comprise all types of property to suit a wide range of budgets, from million-pound investments to small parcels of land.

Among them is a mixed-use property in Felixstowe, on the East coast. 27 Beach Station Road features a ground-floor commercial unit, with part-completed residential accommodation on the first floor. The flexible accommodation offers the potential to convert to full residential use, subject to planning permission.

Heading further south to Torquay, bidders in the National Property Auction will find a spacious ground-floor flat with views across Torbay. Comprising an entrance hall, lounge, kitchen, bedroom and bathroom, Flat 5, Tor Dale, 33 Thurlow Road is currently let at £550 per calendar month and has a guide price of £30,000-plus.

In the west, a pair of semi-detached houses in Swansea are due to go under the hammer as two separate lots. 100G Swansea Road and 100H Swansea Road in Trebanos, Pontardawe each has three double bedrooms, a basement room, off-road parking and a rear garden. 100H is vacant and has a guide price of £64,000-plus, while 100G is offered for sale with a tenant in place with a guide price of £78,000-plus.

In the south of England is an ‘excellent’ opportunity to invest in an apartment block in Sevenoaks, Kent. Currently producing an annual income of £105,780, 49 and 49A Granville Road is a block of four self-contained one-bedroomed flats, four self-contained studio flats and four units with shared shower rooms. It is being offered for sale with a guide price of £1.6m-plus in the live-streamed Knight Frank auction on Wednesday 27th October.

At the same time, Timed Auctions run daily on the website with round-the-clock bidding.

Managing director and auctioneer Andrew Parker says: “It’s another busy month for everyone at SDL Property Auctions but we wouldn’t have it any other way. We are delighted to be hosting not one but three live-streamed auctions this month, as well as our daily Timed Auctions on our website.”

SDL Property Auctions’ bumper National Property Auction takes place on Thursday October 28, featuring a wide variety of residential and commercial properties in its catalogue of more than 220 lots nationwide.

This comes as the auctioneer became one of the first auctioneers to partner with Rightmove to launch a new Bid to Purchase feature. Through the new partnership, Parker believes his company will be helping to revolutionise the property market by normalising auction sales. 

“At SDL Property Auctions we believe there is a better way and that many sellers would benefit from the speed and efficiency of auctions,” he comments. “We are therefore delighted to be leading the way by becoming one of the first auction providers to adopt Rightmove’s new industry-first digital feature to sell properties by conditional auction.”

“As a result of this innovation, I believe we are on the cusp of a real revolution in property buying and selling. We are proud to be changing people’s perceptions of auctions – and making them more accessible for everyone.”

SDL Property Auctions’ conditional auction properties now benefit from enhanced listings on the UK’s biggest property portal with the addition of Rightmove’s innovative new Bid to Purchase widget. This will both raise the profile of conditional auction sales and help foster a new understanding of this fast and efficient sales method. 

House-hunters on Rightmove can already filter their search to find auction properties. Now lots being sold by SDL Property Auctions will be displayed with live bidding updates and the option to register to bid. This innovation by Rightmove is a major step in increasing awareness of auctions, both for private homeowners and for estate agents, and will encourage more of them to consider buying and selling in this way. 

“Now, with Rightmove embracing auction sales with its new Bid to Purchase widget and live bidding updates, this provides a firm foundation for agent growth and is another step towards taking auctions into the mainstream.”

Amidst the success of SDL Property Auctions, PIT recently spoke to Parker on the possible return to in-room sale. He says: "With our live-streamed National Property Auctions hitting audiences of 15,000-plus each month we don’t plan to return to the number of room auctions we used to run as we couldn’t fit anywhere near that amount in a single venue. It’s clear people love the online format and I think the flexibility it affords buyers and sellers is key to attracting more people to property auctions."

“As a market, property auctions have to look forward and continue to make a case for why they’re not just for property investors and how they can work for all types of buyers and sellers. I think live-streamed auctions have played a big part to make property auctions more accessible to a much wider audience.”

Auctions are in need of valuers, study shows

Propertymark has heard from auctioneers across the country who have highlighted the increasing appetite from people of all ages taking to auctions, but with this comes a dying need for additional resources to handle the flood of newbies.

With many auctioneers pushed to an online model due to Covid, the trade body says it has opened the auction world to not only the usual auction attendees to give them access from the comfort of their own homes, but to savvy youngsters, busy parents and home improvers who usually buy online.

Hiscox reported online art sales reaching £5 billion in the first six months of 2021, which is a 72% increase compared to the same period in 2020. Analytics firm Pi-eX also reported that the top three public auction houses—Christie’s, Sotheby’s, and Phillips—saw a 405% year-on-year increase in sales during the second quarter of 2021 between the months of April and June.

Craig Bewick, NAVA Propertymark Advisory Committee member and saleroom manager, Chartered auctioneer & valuer at Golding Young, says: “People’s interests and hobbies have changed since Covid, and it has pushed many to continue to invest in their houses.”

“Most auctioneers have grasped these online opportunities with both hands and have adapted their offerings to better suit what people are now looking for.”

“People seem to have now cottoned onto the perks of buying from auction houses compared to retail, especially given the increase in price of raw materials and the number of people looking to buy the items, as they now know they can buy high-quality goods for a fraction of the price.

He adds: “We’re continuing to see an increasing amount of job adverts for valuers and auctioneers due to the increase in demand. The next step for auctioneers is to educate those on the exciting world of auctions to bring more people into the industry.”

As an increasing amount of people become aware of what auctions are all about, coupled with the UK Government’s extension to the apprenticeship levy, opportunities are presenting themselves for employers to work to get fresh blood into the industry.

In March 2022, Propertymark aims to bolster novice auctioneers at its Auctioneer of the Year Awards event which looks to bring like-minded professionals and newbie auctioneers together to celebrate the successes of the industry.

Forget the stamp duty holiday; you can still sell before Christmas

The end of the stamp duty holiday shouldn’t get in the way of selling homes before Christmas, says property auctioneer iamsold.

With Christmas less than 100 days away, and Twentyci reporting that it now takes, on average, 17.6 weeks to complete on sales, helping clients achieve a secure, stress-free sale, with fixed timescales, before the big day might seem ambitious.

However, iamsold says that with the Modern Method of Auction (MMoA), agents can help their clients ease the stress of a festive season sale with its 56-day timescales and 95% completion rate.

Jamie Cooke, managing director at iamsold, says while the end of the stamp duty holiday may have signalled a slowdown in the market, momentum and demand is still present from buyers and sellers.

Auction roundup – normalising auctions, MMoA and more valuers neededHe comments: “With both groups wanting to limit the stress associated with a pre-Christmas sale, agents need to offer their clients choice in the selling process; ideally, one that caters for this need for enhanced speed and security particularly over this festive season.”

“The MMoA gives our Partner Agents the ability to offer viable alternatives to vendors and delight those who may have lost hope in selling before the festive period. Priorities for pre-Christmas sellers will be speed and more importantly security, which the MMoA process is built around.”

He adds: “When other agents are slowing down, those offering MMoA can still boost their cash flow before Christmas and deliver on client’s expectations that might seem otherwise unrealistic; meaning all parties can focus on enjoying the festivities without worrying about their property transaction.”

‘The Holiday’ property sells after 60 bids for £840k

A 17th-century farmhouse in Upper Stoke Holy Cross, near Norwich – resembling the house featured in The Holiday movie – sold at online auction with Brown&Co.

Tagus Farm, situated in more than 11.5 acres in a private location near Norwich, went under the virtual auction hammer last week – selling for £842,000. This was almost £100,000 over the guide price of £725,000-£750,000.

It took just over 14 minutes for the property to far exceed its reserve with bids sending the price rocketing in the last few minutes of the online auction.

Auction roundup – normalising auctions, MMoA and more valuers needed

The property, which includes a number of outbuildings, as well as a garden room/summer house, paddocks as well as grazing land, had not come up for sale for many years.

It was eventually sold to a local family.

Peter Hornor, chartered surveyor and auctioneer, Brown&Co, says: “We are delighted with the results of our online sale. This is a wonderful property with so much potential in a lovely location overlooking a valley with stunning views and we have loved showing it to potential purchasers.”

“The current owners are sad to be saying goodbye but thrilled that it has been sold to a family. It also confirms our view that auctions work really well in a strong market creating competition to enable us at Brown&Co in a transparent way to get the best result for our clients.”

The next large online auction with Brown&Co will take place in December.

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