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Auction roundup – new ventures, league tables and the stamp duty race

This week, Property Investor Today takes a look at the ambitious auction houses that are making great strides as we ease out of lockdown.

We explore Landwood Group’s new workplace solutions consultancy, Bond Wolfe’s venture into digital marketing, iamsold’s topping of the auction league table and how sellers are beating the stamp duty holiday deadline with SDL Property Auctions.

Landwood Group launches workplace solutions consultancy


Property auction company Landwood Group has launched a ‘Workplace Solutions Consultancy’ in response to the rapidly changing role of offices in professional life.

The move comes as the rise of working remotely has reshaped what today’s occupiers require from workplaces, with many finding they now have to repurpose existing space or seek alternative accommodation.

Landwood’s Workplace Solutions Consultancy aims to provide occupiers and commercial landlords with a one-stop shop for director-led commercial advice on all aspects of landlord and tenant matters, workplace design and project management of associated fit out work.

This marks the latest initiative from Landwood’s Project and Building Consultancy Division directors Chris Mann and John Edwards, who established the division last year.

“As a result of the pandemic, the way people utilise offices is undergoing the biggest transformation in generations,” Mann comments.

“For many businesses, the pandemic has forced the majority of staff to deliver at least part of their work remotely. We expect this trend will lead to permanent hybrid working patterns with a mix of office and remote-based working.”

Mann says offices are being utilised on a much of flexible basis as a result. Teams are using them as space to collaborate and companies are relying on their office space to provide a social function for employees.

He adds: “Our Workplace Solutions Consultancy provides expert advice for occupiers evaluating their office requirements. We look deeper than the fit-out and space utilisation to include data such as future dilapidations and service charge liabilities. This enables us to provide our clients with an accurate total cost when they are reviewing their real estate strategies.”

“For landlords, meanwhile, we have a deep understanding of the latest trends, innovation and technology – enabling clients to better utilise their assets in this swiftly changing environment.”

Landwood’s Project & Building Consultancy is also celebrating being instructed as project manager for the relocation of a global software company’s UK headquarters. 

The division offers advice across the whole life cycle of assets with typical instructions including project management, dilapidations, acquisitions and disposals.

Headquartered in Manchester, Landwood Group is experts in property, plant and machinery and business assets. Their team of chartered surveyors, project managers, asset managers and auctioneers provide unrivalled expertise.

Going digital – Bond Wolfe teams up with See You Social

Bond Wolfe, the multi-disciplinary property consultancy, has invested in a digital marketing business as it continues to expand.

The firm has taken a 50% stake in See You Social, which provides digital marketing strategy, implementation and guidance for businesses in the UK and across the globe.

The company, which has been rebranded BW Media, has clients not only in the West Midlands and UK but also as far afield as restaurants and aesthetic brands in California, USA.

 It was founded in 2018 by Craig Upton and has now grown to seven staff. The business provides a full range of digital marketing services for some of the West Midlands’ largest property institutions and organisations, plus a diverse clientele across the globe.

Upton has been joined on the BW board by chairman Gurpreet Bassi and director Bobby Bassi. The company is now based in Bond Wolfe’s headquarters building at 75-77 Colmore Row at the heart of the Birmingham central business district.

Gurpreet Bassi comments: “Our experience both on the agency and the auctions side during the past 12 months has been that West Midlands property is gaining a worldwide audience.” 

“We have been clients of See You Social since its inception and so have seen for ourselves the reach, range and results that Craig and his team can produce. As we grow the Bond Wolfe brand, this is a logical step designed to enhance our communications.”

Upton adds: “Our discussions with Bond Wolfe grew out of the work we were carrying out with them. They understand our skillsets and were keen to add our range of services across all digital marketing to the Bond Wolfe brand.”

“And the opportunity to place the business physically at the heart of the Birmingham business community was also too good to miss.”

The news comes as Bond Wolfe Auctions announced a record amount raised for a UK live-streamed auction with its 31 March result which totalled over £30.2 million.

Both the auctions and the commercial agency sides of Bond Wolfe have been reporting increasing interest in Midlands and UK property assets from investors abroad.

A different kind of Super League – iamsold tops EIG auction league table

iamsold has retained the top spot on Essential Information Group’s (EIG) annual auctioneer league table during a record month for its online auction sales.

The company has once again been recognised as the top UK residential property auctioneer, based on the number of properties sold and capital value raised in 2020.

iamsold completed on 3,258 property sales last year, raising £442,196,144 in capital value – 2,000 more lots than the second position.

Online auction continues to rise in demand, with iamsold delivering record-breaking sales volumes in 2021 so far, up by 52% year-on-year.

March saw the company’s highest ever monthly sales with 512 properties sold, raising over £84 million in capital value for sellers.

Jamie Cooke, managing director at iamsold, comments: “2020 was a big year for the auction and housing market, as more people needed the speed, security and transparency that online auctions deliver.”

“When the property market reopened during the first lockdown, we saw demand for auction spike instantly.”

According to Cooke, more agents are now offering auction services, which led to the firm’s Partner Network growing significantly last year.

He says: “We now support over 2,500 agents with auction services and help them to sell more lots than any other provider in the space, giving them an additional income and enabling them to offer more choice to their clients.”

“Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits too and our industry-first relationships with both Rightmove and Zoopla will help to educate consumers even further. It’s been a record-breaking start to the year with increasingly high volumes of monthly sales and I only expect this to grow.”

A race to save – sellers beat the stamp duty deadline with SDL

SDL Property Auctions is seeing an influx of enquiries from sellers of houses in the £250,000-£500,000 price bracket as they seek to beat the stamp duty holiday deadline. 

In the first quarter of 2021, the firm raised more than £71 million for sellers. Its National Property Auctions, live-streamed from its head office auction studio, regularly feature over 200 lots and attract thousands of registered bidders.

Managing director and auctioneer Andrew Parker comments: “As purchases in this auction will complete by the end of May, sellers can bid confidently and stretch their budgets a little further.”

“Sellers reap the benefits of this flexibility and because contracts are exchanged on the fall of the hammer, they have no need to worry about their buyer pulling out or trying to haggle later.”

SDL predicts its National Property Auction on Thursday April 29 will see buyers benefiting from the savings, as their transactions will complete well ahead of the stamp duty holiday deadline on June 30. 

Among the family homes going under the hammer in the upcoming auction is a semi-detached house in Birmingham with a guide price of £275,000-plus. Offering great potential, 217 Balden Road in Harborne features three bedrooms, two reception rooms, a large garden and planning permission in place for a two-storey side and rear extension. It has permitted development approval for a loft conversion and a large outbuilding.

In Derbyshire, 183 Church Street in Ilkeston is a four double bedroomed detached home with the potential to be converted into flats or a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO), subject to the necessary planning permissions. It has a guide price of £230,000-plus.

Being sold in partnership with Nest Estate Agents, 151 Trevino Drive in Rushey Mead, Leicester, is guided at £200,000-plus but has already attracted a great deal of interest. Although requiring some modernisation, the three bedroomed property features solar panels and sits on a good-sized plot with potential for an extension, subject to planning permission. 

This month also sees the launch of a new-style online catalogue for SDL Property Auctions where viewers can now scroll through the lots easily without having to zoom in and out on each page. It also features an introductory video in which Parker answers some frequently asked questions about auctions. 

He says: “The auctions market is changing so it is important that we respond to those changes, which is why we have launched a new, user-friendly and interactive catalogue experience.”

“As we welcome a great many first-time auction buyers and sellers, we are committed to making their experience a positive one. Auctions are no longer the domain of landlords and investors jostling together in a crowded auction room, so we have created a much more contemporary experience and we pride ourselves on having made it accessible to everyone.”

SDL Property Auctions is offering several opportunities to beat the stamp duty holiday deadline via its National Property Auction on Thursday May 27, as well as its Timed Auction, which can be started at any time.

Bids can be placed in the live-streamed auction on Thursday April 29 online, on the phone and by proxy. 


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