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Auction roundup – colossal results in such a short month

Despite being a fleeting month, February has seen impressive auction results across the board. Acuitus saw an emphatic start to the year, Auction House London reports a record number of bidders, and Sutton Kersh raises £10 million at its first 2022 sale. Meanwhile, Shepherd Chartered Surveyors, Allsop and Connect UK Auctions also yield great results in just the second month of the year.

Acuitus raises £21.39m in ‘emphatic’ 2022 opening sale

The first Acuitus commercial property auction of 2022 raised £21.39 million with a success rate of 93%. Eight lots sold for over £1 million, and the average sale price was around £855,700.


Acuitus Chairman Richard Auterac comments: “This was an emphatic opener for our 2022 auction series and there was tremendous energy from investors with retail parade, trade counter and asset management opportunities generating a particularly high level of bidding.”

A parade of five shops with residential above at 288-306 High Street in Harlington, west London sold for £2.46 million – a whopping £800,000 above its initial guide price – and reflecting a net initial yield of 4.8%.

Also in west London, a freehold supermarket and residential ground rent investment sold for £1.925 million at a yield of 5.4%. The 5,330-sq ft Tesco Express is let on a new 15-year lease with a tenant break at year 10, and there are eight residential flats producing ground rent income. In total, the investment currently produces an annual income of £110,800.

The largest lot sold under the hammer was the former Change of Hart pub in Edgware, London which went for £2.85 million. Producing an income of £152,000, the property also has a large car park which offers residential development potential subject to necessary consents.

Trade counters performed well throughout the pandemic as a result of demand for DIY products by homeowners. The resilience of the sector was reflected in the sale of a Screwfix trade counter in Stafford which sold for £1.265 million at a yield of 5.6%.

The continued strength of these assets was further highlighted by the sale of freehold trade counter/builders merchant investment in Gloucester. Let on a new 15-year lease, with five-yearly rent reviews of either 2.5% uplifts compounded annually or the market rent if higher, the investment sold for £1.725 million at a yield of 4.9%.

Charlie Powter, Acuitus director, says: “These quasi-retail and warehouse investments have been very popular for a number of years now with investors looking for an alternative to high street retail. Demand for these assets continues to exceed supply.”

A specialist short-leasehold interest of one of the best-known cinemas in London – the Odeon in Swiss Cottage – sold on behalf a major fund for £2 million. The leasehold interest of this landmark cinema will come to an end in 2032.

Auterac continues: “The variety of the lots offered at this sale and the depth of bidding that they attracted shows that investors are targeting opportunities in a systematic and discerning manner. For sellers, the prices achieved showed the hugely effective route to market that our auctions provide.”

“Selling commercial property investments and development opportunities requires from the start deep and wide-ranging skills in understanding the underlying asset and then being able to communicate the key investment characteristics to expert investors such that the investor energy is harnessed for the benefit of the sellers and buyers alike.”

“It’s to be hoped that results such as this will encourage more owners to bring their assets to market as there are exceptional opportunities to realise best price.”

The next Acuitus auction will take place on Thursday March 31 and bidding will be available online, by telephone and by proxy. Further details can be found here.

Sutton Kersh smashes first auction of 2022 with £10.4m sold

Liverpool-based property auction house Sutton Kersh reports over £10.4 million worth of property sold at its first auction of the year.

The auctioneer had over 700 bidders registered for the event from across the country, which was their highest number since taking their auctions online in 2020.

It sold just over £3.1 million worth of property prior to auction and a further £7.3 million on the day.

The first lot of the day was a four-bed detached home in the popular residential area of Southport. This listing was a rare opportunity, due to its highly popular coastal location. A strong bidding war took place and ultimately resulted in it selling for £104,000 over guide price.

Meanwhile, lot 2, another residential property in need of refurbishment, had a guide of £75,000 and sold for £119,000.

Lot 6, a three-bed mid-terrace in the L4 area of Liverpool by Stanley Park, had a guide of £70,000 and has a potential rental income of £7,800 a year. It sold for £101,000 – close to what an estate agent on the open market would sell for.

This trend continued throughout the auction with residential and terraced properties in need of modernisation and refurbishment selling for over their guide prices.

Lot 7 was in the L8 area of Liverpool, which over the last two years has become a very popular area with investors and developers. It was listed at a bargain price of £40,000 and sold for £74,000 on the day.

‘Birch House’ is a stunning four-bed detached house in Lower Withington, Cheshire set within two acres of land. It was listed with a guide of £450,000 and in need of refurbishment and modernisation. After some fierce bidding, it sold for £683,000, which was £233,000 over its guide price.

Commenting on the results, Cathy Holt, associate director of Sutton Kersh Auctions, says: “The demand for properties was as strong as it was last year, especially for residential and investment properties. We are delighted with how well it went, selling 80 properties which is over 80% of lots available.”

“A commercial/mixed-use property on Ormskirk Street in St. Helens comprising of two ground floor retail units and ancillary accommodation to the first and second floors sold for £308,000, which was £108,000 over the guide price. There was a high number of bidders again on a national reach for this lot.”

She concludes: “A lot of homes are coming to market that need refurbishment or modernisation, so much so that over 50 lots were residential investment opportunities in this auction. The demand for these types of property is still so high as, for many, it is more cost-effective than buying a house that is move-in-ready.”

Record number of bidders at Auction House London sale

Auction House London has sold the highest number of lots in one sale in over a year, raising almost £25 million.

In a storming start to 2022, the auctioneer saw a record 1,339 bidders registered to take part in the live stream sale, which sold 90% of lots.

Auctioneer and director of Auction House London, Andrew Binstock, says of the results: “The market continues to remain incredibly strong with demand for property extremely high. Imagine trying to fit more than 1300 people into one auction room!”

“That’s why our live stream sales work so well, giving buyers the ability to take part online, while still having all the benefits of a live auctioneer conducting the bids in real-time.”

In Hounslow, Middlesex, a three-bedroom semi, which needs updating, is close to the Piccadilly line. It was guided at £275,000 before selling at £488,500.

According to Binstock, unmodernised homes and land are proving extremely popular with buyers, with properties regularly selling above their agreed reserve price.

“Competition is so strong at the moment – which means it’s the perfect time to sell in the competitive arena of an auction room. There seems no end to the appetite from buyers and it’s definitely a sellers’ market,” he adds.

In Bromley Road, Catford, a first and second-floor maisonette with 124 years of lease remaining was guided at £150,000 and sold for £281,000. Similarly, a three-bedroom semi in Borehamwood, near good transport links was guided at £375,000 before the hammer came down at £514,000. Both properties need updating.

Binstock concludes: “There are more users than ever across the Auction House website – from 1.6 million in 2019 to 2.4 million now – and a greater proportion of younger people are accessing the group’s services online.”

Auction House London is now taking entries for its next live stream sale on Wednesday March 16 2022.

Shepherd’s first 2022 auction is set for success

Shepherd Chartered Surveyors’ first commercial property auction of the year featured 37 lots ranging from £5,000 to £525,000 with a combined value of £6 million.

The sale was scheduled for broadcast live online with remoting bidding only at 2:30pm this week (Wednesday February 23).

Its catalogue featured a wide range of commercial opportunities across Scotland, including retail, office, licensed leisure, commercial investments, development sites and residential investment opportunities.

This first auction of the year followed Shepherd’s recent appointment to market for sale by auction a range of public sector properties on behalf of the Scottish Government. The contract, which will encompass a broad range of public bodies, is for an initial two-year period with an option to extend.

This significant appointment comes after Shepherd secured £6 million of property sales from a start-up within its first year of operation. Its biggest auction to date was last October which featured 30 lots and sold £3.55 million of property under the hammer on the day.

Steve Barnett, managing partner at Shepherd Chartered Surveyors, said that clients have expressed an appreciation of the transparency auctions provide, the speed of sales and the ability of the firm’s professional RICS registered surveyors based locally around the country to mobilise the marketing campaigns for the auction quickly and professionally.

He commented: “Our auctions are increasingly recognised for offering an attractive alternative way for investors, developers, funds and restructuring specialists to transact commercial property safe and securely given the unrivalled level of professionalism, expertise and local market intelligence that our surveyors provide via our local office network throughout the length and breadth of Scotland.”

“Our partnership with SDL Property Auctions allows us to reach more potential buyers and drive the best possible prices while providing speed and certainty within a fixed timeframe.”

“Our latest auction features a comprehensive range of investment, development and asset management opportunities that are sure to appeal to a wide number of commercial property investors, developers and occupiers.”

Allsop raises £42m at resi auction as buyers combat inflation

Allsop’s first residential auction of the year generated £42 million worth of sales, with 122 lots sold.

On the day of the auction, buyers placed 4,751 bids, with 1,036 individuals having registered to participate in the sale.

Richard Adamson, partner and auctioneer at Allsop, comments: “We are pleased with the result of our first residential auction of the year – clearly, buyers are increasingly on the lookout for investment opportunities which would help them safeguard their cash against the effects of inflation, which has reached its highest level in the past 30 years.”

“With a large proportion of our auction participants being cash buyers, recent interest rate rises haven’t had a significant impact on our market.”

Highlights of the auction include:

  • Lot 32 in Lambeth, London – a freehold detached building, arranged to accommodate restaurant premises and 17 flats, producing over £170,000 of rental income per annum, sold for £2,585,000 (GIY 7.63%)

  • Lot 88 in Worthing – a freehold detached block of 10 self-contained flats, sold for £2 million (GIY 6.61%)

  • Lot 1 in Solihull – a freehold detached bungalow with gardens, which was among the most popular lots on the day of the auction, receiving 114 bids and selling for £426,000

  • Lot 43 in High Wycombe – freehold detached warehouse buildings and a site with planning permission for nine houses, sold for £1.5 million

Adamson adds: “Lots in need of development have performed well despite the pandemic-induced increase in build costs and supply chain disruptions as buyers seek opportunities to generate value.”

“We look forward to bringing further opportunities to the market and welcoming regulars as well as newcomers to our March auction, which will take place online.”

Allsop’s next residential auction will be held online on March 31 2022.

Connect UK Auctions achieves 100% selling rate at first 2022 sale

Connect UK Auctions is reporting a successful start to the year with strong results at its live-streamed auction on February 15.

Bringing a multitude of bidders to the table, the auction exposed numerous bidding wars on multiple lots.

Highlights of the sale include:

Lot 14 – The Albion Pub, Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire. A former public house on a corner plot sold for £103,000 – a mighty 47% above guide. The site was bought by a local resident who is finishing another development project before looking into applying for planning on this one.

Lot 11 – School Lane, Wales, 20 acres of raw land. Guided at £65,000, the land sold for £97,000 – 49% above guide. The site was originally part of the Gem Brick & Tile Works until it was wound up in 1901. It then became Alyn Brick & Terracotta Company. More recently, the site was used by Clywd Alloys as a foundry for the reclamation of scrap metals until its closure in 2002.

Lot 2 - 2 Fredericks Road, Hastings, East Sussex. A freehold detached house in an elevated position. Requiring updating and also tenanted, this lot saw more than 30 viewers enter its doors. With potential to either update the property and increase the current rent or to wait until vacant, refurbish and sell on, the auction lot offers numerous options to its new owner to add value to.


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