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Auction roundup – and the good news continues…

This week’s auction roundup shows positive results across the board, with Auction House London, Clive Emson, Allsop, Auction House and SDL Property Auctions recording substantial sales and Brown&Co JHWalter releasing next month’s mysterious lots.

Livestream auctions trump online sales, says Auction House London

The Coronavirus pandemic has proved that the power of live stream auctions far outweighs the impact of ‘eBay-style’ online auctions, according to Auction House London.


Following its latest sale, which attracted its highest ever number of lots and selling 90% of them, auctioneer and Auction House London director Andrew Binstock says: “Since we were forced to move to live stream sales as a result of Covid, our numbers are just going up and up.”

“In our last sale, we had 172 properties listed – our highest ever in any auction. There are more sellers and buyers flocking to us at each sale and the figures speak for themselves. We’re doing better than ever, and I have no reason to want to turn back the clock - especially when we’re smashing it right now!”

He continues: “Our feedback shows our clients love this way of buying and selling. Meanwhile, some of our competitors, trying to sell using the online-only route without interaction from an auctioneer, are struggling.” 

“The service we provide is second to none. Not many auctioneers are willing to spend nine-and-a-half hours on the rostrum! The skill of an auctioneer is crucial in sensing the temperature of a sale – something a computer and its algorithms simply can’t do.”

Binstock believes auctioneers will only be driven back to an actual auction room by a wish from some in the industry to keep a tradition going.

Auction House London’s October 27 sale saw sales reaching more than £20 million.

Land without planning permission is attracting fierce bidding, with buyers snapping up small parcels with the potential of developing them at a later date. Lot 29 in Windridge Close, St Albans was guided at £15,000 and sold at £82,000.

Developers are seizing the moment with properties that can be converted or extended and in Blenheim Park Road in South Croydon, this 1930s property with permission to change into 4 flats was guided at £450,000 before selling at £750,000.

Auction House London is now taking entries for its next sale, on Wednesday December 8 2021 at 12 noon, which is being streamed live.

November auction results are in for Clive Emson

Clive Emson’s penultimate auction of the year saw rental investment properties going under the hammer.

Commenting on the sale, which featured 105 lots across southern England, managing director James Emson says: “With inflation warnings spooking markets, buy-to-let landlords continue to look to investment properties for returns that outperform paltry interest received from cash savings. This was borne out by many of the bids made.”

The company recorded £16 million-plus worth of sales in the November 3 auction, with a success rate of more than 70%.

Highlights included a high-yielding, mixed-use investment with sea views in the heart of Brighton’s fashionable The Lanes. The property at 2 Ship Street, which produces £20,000 pa from a restaurant and in the region of £120,000 pa through holiday lets booked with Airbnb, Booking.com and Vrbo, went for £1,055,000 (lot 25).

A terraced property in Hythe, Kent is let to an accountancy at £10,000 pa, rising to £12,000 pa from February, and sold for £281,000 against a guide of £220,000-plus (lot 102).

Generating £8,400 per annum, a two-bedroom leasehold property in Gosport, near Portsmouth, was purchased for £102,000 (lot 29).

Meanwhile, a retail shop in Petherton, Somerset, which generates £14,650 pa, fetched £172,000 off a £110-120,000 estimate (lot 86).

Let at £46,800 per annum, a freehold mixed investment of four flats and a retail unit in Bitterne Park, Southampton, went for £545,000 (lot 49).

Away from investment properties, former public toilets in Tonbridge, Kent, were acquired for £122,000 – 45 bids were made, with the property at a busy roundabout junction going for £72,000 above estimate (lot 39).

A 3,000 sq ft trade counter unit on half an acre at Purley, Croydon, attracted a purchase price of £1,560,000 (lot 70).

Rob Marchant, Clive Emson’s Hampshire auctioneer, sold a three-bedroom house in Gosport just a few doors along from where his grandparents had bought in 1935 – for the princely sum of £310. The November auction house went for £190,000, a 26.6% increase on the guide price (lot 79).

Clive Emson’s next auction, the last of eight this year, takes place on December 15; entries for lots close on November 22 and the catalogue is online from November 26.

Over £63m raised at Allsop’s November commercial auction

Allsop’s November commercial auction raised over £63.2 million following the sale of 82 lots, with an overall success rate of 83%, demonstrating a substantial increase in November 2020.

Retail assets made up a significant proportion of the assets sold, generating a total of £49 million, which shows the ongoing investor demand for this asset class, a trend that has been on the rise since the beginning of this year.

London properties saw high levels of demand, with fierce competition for some of the lots located in Camden and Colliers Wood.

The auction was also marked by strong appetite for mixed-use investments, which particularly appealed to those looking to diversify their exposure.

Key highlights of the sale include:

  • Lot 24: A mixed-use parade in Meir, with a total site area of 0.732 acres, which includes 43 flats, seven shops, and on-site car parking, which was sold for £2.95 million (NIY 8.8%).

  • Lot 75: Green Oaks shopping centre in Widnes comprising a total of 95,542 sq. ft of retail and leisure space spread over two floors, which sold prior to the auction, well above the asking price of £3.5 million.

  • Lot 7: A mixed-use site in Camden comprising an estate agent’s office and four flats, which was sold for over £1.71 million (NIY 4.9%).

George Walker, partner and auctioneer at Allsop, comments: “As the economic recovery continues, two distinct types of buyers have begun to emerge: those who opt for the safety of long-let assets paying very low yields, and those who buy into the higher yields offered by larger high street retail investments.”

“We have witnessed very competitive bidding amongst buyers for retail and mixed-use assets this year. Over the past few months, tenant demand has shown reassuring signs of recovery, and rents are starting to be paid in a more timely and consistent manner, which has sent a positive signal to the market and is reflected in the £49m raised from the sales of retail assets alone.”

Allsop’s next commercial property auction will take place online on December 8 2021.

Whopping sales prove the benefits of unconditional auctions

Auction House is reporting the sale of over 3,000 lots, raising more than half-a-billion pounds in the year to date for the first time in the group’s 14-year history.

Between January and October, the auctioneer sold 3,045 lots from 3,668 offered, achieving a success rate of 83% and raising £517,719,529 in the process.

In October alone, the group sold 401 lots from 479 offered and raised a total of £66,483,950.

Commenting on the figures, Auction House managing director Jeremy Prior says: “This is a spectacular result for the group – helped in no small part by our regional network of dedicated auction teams across the country, and our policy of relying on traditional, ‘unconditional’ auctions, where sellers have the certainty of knowing that once the hammer comes down, the deal is done.”

“Many other auctioneers rely on ‘conditional’ sales, which involve an awkward limbo period of 56 days after the auction itself - during which time anything can happen to the sale - plus an eye-watering fee of up to 5% or 6%, which is typically shouldered by the buyer!”

“Vendors often pay no fees at all in conditional sales which does make you wonder who the agent is actually working for – seller or buyer – and where the agent’s real interests lie.”

Prior says that Auction House auctioneers have always worked hard to achieve the best possible price for their sellers, rather than trying to get a deal done at any price. 

He explains: “Certain practitioners of conditional auctions need to ask themselves who their clients are. Can they honestly say they are working to secure the best price for their vendor clients when their income relies entirely on the buyer paying their fees?”

“What’s more, many practitioners seem to ignore the fact that today’s buyers become tomorrow’s sellers - and these buyers have long memories. Not surprisingly, they neither expect nor appreciate having to pay through the teeth when they are already spending thousands of pounds of their hard-earned cash on the price of the property itself.”

“So, it seems to me that ‘uncertain’ conditional auction sales, coupled with the buyer paying ridiculously high fees is both short-sighted and flies in the face of traditional auctioneering.”

By contrast, Prior says unconditional auctions sales are open, transparent and are the way both buyers and sellers expect business to be done.

“I believe our latest reported sales figures of over half-a-billion pounds worth of property sold in the year to date is testament to that fact,” he concludes.

SDL Property Auctions achieves ‘outstanding’ results

SDL Property Auctions is reporting another successful month of sales – this time in the commercial property market.

Throughout the month, the auctioneer has held daily Timed Auctions on its website as well as three live-streamed Auction Events from its head office studio, raising more than £24.9 million for sellers of all types of properties across the whole of the UK. 

October culminated in the National Property Auction where SDL Property Auctions held one of the biggest live-streamed auctions for the third month in a row, with a catalogue of 228 residential and commercial properties. 

Among them were several lots being sold on behalf of Derbyshire County Council, the first of which was Wye Cottage in Rowsley, which got the National Property Auction off to a resounding start when it sold for £360,000 from a guide price of £130,000-plus.

Another of the council’s unused assets which caused excitement was the former Church Gresley Infants and Nursery School, which had a guide price of £295,000-plus. Informal planning advice from the local authority supports the creation of around nine dwellings on the 0.48-acre site. There was keen bidding for the property, and it sold for £500,000. 

In Belper, Derbyshire County Council was selling a former care home, Ada Belfield House in Field Lane. Within walking distance of the town centre and railway station, the site has planning permission for demolition of the care home and the development of up to seven houses. There was keen interest in the lot, and it sold for £735,000 from a guide price of £425,000.  

Auction roundup – and the good news continues…

In the Knight Frank Auction hosted by SDL Property Auctions, a mixed-use property in Greater London drew a great deal of attention from bidders. A mid-terraced building comprising a ground-floor retail unit with accommodation above, 154 Central Road in Worcester Park sold for £744,000 from a guide price of £320,000-plus. 

Elsewhere, in the Scottish Highlands, a tenanted kilt shop was sold for leading Scottish chartered surveyors Shepherd. 43 Church Street in Inverness is part of a three-storey Grade B listed building and the ground-floor retail area and basement currently generate an annual income of £25,000 per year.  It sold for £220,000 from a guide price of £210,000-plus. 

SDL Property Auctions also holds Timed Auctions on its website every day of the year, featuring residential and commercial properties all over the country. 

Among the October lots was a distinctive building with a tower in the Lancashire town of Carnforth. Currently producing a gross annual rental income of £21,600, 41, 43 and 45 New Street and 1 John Street house five commercial units including a gym and photography studios. It was offered for sale in a Timed Auction in partnership with Fisher Wrathall/Northwood with a guide price of £220,000-plus and sold for £235,000. 

Managing director and auctioneer Andrew Parker comments: “We are delighted to have achieved such incredible results for so many of our sellers this month. We are expecting the commercial property market to remain busy for many months to come as businesses continue to adapt to the pandemic – downsizing or upsizing as the need arises – and we are pleased to be able to help so many sellers realise their commercial property assets.”

Mysterious lots incoming with Brown&Co JHWalter

Brown&Co JHWalter has released information on the unique lots featured in its upcoming County Property Auction.

A highlight of the sale, which takes place on December 8, is a mysterious large house almost completely covered from view by overgrown trees and plants is coming under the hammer.

The house that’s buried beneath an overgrown site – with only just a small amount of its windows visible – is for sale for a guide price of £345,000 at live stream auction.

Auction roundup – and the good news continues…

Holton Manor, Holton-cum-Beckering, near Market Rasen, has been empty since 2014 and needs a total refurbishment throughout.

However, it does offer a fabulous opportunity to buy a detached period home with four receptions and four bedrooms in a plot of around 0.5 of an acre.

The house is situated next to the church in the heart of the village and offers more than 3,400 sqft of space.

Auction manager James Mulhall says: “Holton Manor is a real hidden gem waiting for its next custodian to breathe new life into its tired walls. Once the renovation is complete it will create a fine family home in an attractive setting.”

Another highly anticipated lot is a former telephone exchange in Lincolnshire. The building on Silver Street, Wragby, near Market Rasen offers just 512 sq ft of space and has previously been used for storage.

Telephone exchanges first used people to connect calls and often in smaller neighbourhoods there would be just one person manually doing this.

Auction roundup – and the good news continues…

The introduction of automatic systems allowed callers to dial numbers themselves and overtime exchange buildings became defunct.

Mulhall states: “Unique properties like this really suit the auction process and I can see potential for a small business use or residential conversion subject to the necessary planning consents.”

The sale on December 8 is the second since the acquisition and merger by Brown&Co of Lincoln-based JHWalter.


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