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Auction roundup – new hires, fruitful partnerships and Feb catalogues

This week, Property investor Today looks at SDL Property Auctions’ latest extensive catalogue, BidX1’s 2020 success and Auction Estates’ landmark appointment of a renowned property auctioneer.

Estate agents reap the benefits of auctions via SDL

SDL Property Auctions is continuing to help estate agents across the country to generate income via its latest auction catalogue.


The live-streamed auction will be held on Thursday February 25 and features over 200 residential and commercial lots, stretching from Scotland down to the South Coast.

Andrew Parker, managing director and auctioneer of SDL, says: “By working with estate agents instead of in competition, everyone wins. We can provide choices for sellers, get great results at auction and help agents survive one of the most challenging periods of our lifetimes by adding another arm to their businesses.”

Buyers, meanwhile, will experience a fast, hassle-free purchase which completes before the end of March, meaning they can still beat the stamp duty holiday deadline.

Among the estate agents helping their sellers to take advantage of the speed of auction sales is The Property Fox, with the sale of 2 Maple Avenue in Leicester. The traditional bay-fronted semi-detached house has two reception rooms, three bedrooms, a garage and a guide of £150,000-plus.

In Manchester, agent Aubrey Lee is selling 9 Crab Lane in Blackley with a guide price of £65,000-plus. The two-bedroomed end-terrace is currently let at £450 per calendar month, although the tenants are due to leave on April 1 and the current market rent is nearer to £625, providing potential for a substantial increase.

There are also development opportunities available. A plot of land adjacent to Coven Coppice in Lawn Lane, Wolverhampton is being sold in partnership with Nock Deighton with a guide price of £80,000-plus. Occupying a rural location with easy access to amenities, the building plot has planning permission for a detached house, granted under the same application as the property next door, Coven Coppice, which is also for sale in the auction, with a guide price of £300,000-plus. 

Parker continues: “We are delighted to be selling so many properties for our partner agents in our February auction. We work closely with estate agents to provide a personal and seamless service for their sellers and buyers – and are proud to be able to offer a choice of sales methods.”

“Although many of our estate agent partners choose Timed Auctions on our website, we feel it is just as important that they have the option to sell their properties in a traditional room auction if they feel it is most appropriate.”

“Many buyers prefer this setting as we can guide them through the process via a telephone bid if required. This makes the buying process simple and trouble-free; ideal for those buying in an auction for the first time. We are determined to ensure auctions are accessible to everyone,” he concludes.

Bids can be placed online, on the phone or by proxy. For more information on any of the properties or to register to bid, you can click here.

BidX1 prospers from digital acceleration in UK

Online auction specialist BidX1 has doubled its UK sales year-on-year, with £108 million worth of property sold in 2020, up from £52 million in 2019.

Last year, the firm recorded 6,980 bids on UK property, resulting in the sale of more than 320 assets with bidder numbers rising by more than 200%. Its success rates have also seen a jump, increasing from 76% in 2019 to 90% in 2020.

As well as achieving one of the year’s largest commercial auction sales in 2020, BidX1’s partnership with Foxtons accounted for more than a quarter of the total raised in 2020. Since the strategic partnership in September last year, both firms have seen 65 joint sales to date, at a sales value of £27.1 million.

On average, these properties saw an uplift of 14% on their guide prices. Stock in Canary Wharf, Croydon and North West London made up the bulk of this BidX1-Foxton sales.

Highlights include a three-bedroom lower-ground floor flat within an elegant building at Montagu Square in Marylebone, which sold for £1.05 million in August. A three-bedroom fourth-floor apartment in Fitzrovia sold prior to auction in July, exceeding its £1.5 million guide, while a four-bedroom home in Northwood boasting period features and large gardens sold for £950,000.

Oliver Childs, head of commercial auctions at BidX1 UK, says: “While 2020 was a year of challenges, the crucial role of PropTech in overcoming those challenges – but also in addressing longer-term inefficiencies and pain-points in the property sale process – has never been clearer.”

“Our UK client base continues to expand as vendors of all stripes seek to maximise returns using best-in-class online methods. We’re delighted to have worked with a number of new clients in 2020, including UK Power Networks, RBS, Severn Trent Water, L&Q, Canal & River Trust and Homes England.”

He adds: “From a technology perspective, we have the benefit of maturity. As digital specialists, we are uniquely placed to complement the expertise and experience of market-leading firms like Foxtons. We’re looking forward to building relationships with real estate agencies in other parts of the UK in 2021.”


Auction Estates makes bid for success with landmark appointment

Renowned property auctioneer Bob Crocker is to join the in-house team at Auction Estates after a substantial number of years heading up Savills’ regional property auctions.

The Nottingham-based firm owned and run by Crocker’s former colleague, Paul Giles, has made a mark in the regional and national market since its inception in 2016.

Having previously worked with Bob at Savills for over 20 years, Giles comments: “There’s no question at all about Bob’s calibre. We formed a great partnership at Savills, selling millions of pounds worth of property from the rostrum - and on a personal level, I know exactly what he offers my in-house team.” 

“With 40 years’ experience in all aspects of the property market, Bob is well respected by his peers and is known for his personable, hands-on approach. That’s something that will dovetail perfectly with our working ethos here at Auction Estates.”

Commenting on the move, Crocker says: “I’m really excited about this new opportunity. By embracing technology, Auction Estates has thrived on reaching a local, regional and global audience, with clients as far afield as Australia and the US. But it also recognises the importance of engaging with your local audience. That’s been one of the main reasons for my success. I can’t wait to put my expertise into action at Auction Estates.”

Auction Estates specialises in corporate recovery, pension funds and local authorities on behalf of high street banks.

According to Giles, there were already half a dozen local auction houses in operation by the time he’d set up Auction Estates, but putting together a small, dynamic team and selling a variety of property across the UK – from land on the Isle of Wight to shops and flats in the Welsh valleys – allowed the firm to make significant progress.

Both Crocker and Giles will continue to conduct their own face-to-face viewings, which enables them to relay the relevant information back to their clients to ensure the highest level of service is provided.

Giles adds: “Now, more than ever, people are tired of the long-winded uncertainty of traditional house sales which are prone to abortive transactions. What they want is quick, transparent and secure sales and by adopting the auction process they can adapt to changing market conditions which in the long-term benefits sale prices – and that’s exactly what the auction route provides.”

“I see the market growing substantially over the next ten years, so this is the perfect time to bring Bob on board,” he says. “His market knowledge is truly unrivalled, everybody in the property market knows him and his ability to engage with all sectors is something you won’t find in even the most talented of young auctioneers.”


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