Auctions end the year on a high

By Charlie Jacoby, December 2, 2010
Two freehold maisonettes in London’s Bloomsbury, guide: £1 million to £1.1 million, in  Allsop’s December 16 sale

Two freehold maisonettes in London’s Bloomsbury, guide: £1 million to £1.1 million, in Allsop’s December 16 sale

Allsop has released its final auction catalogue for 2010 - and it's a bumper sale of more than 350 lots. Held on December 16 in London, the sale will include vendors such as Harrow School, Luton Borough Council and Network Rail.

More than a third of the 350 are "insolvency" lots, where owners have gone bust. However, Gary Murphy of Allsop says that the large number of them is due to Allsop's success rate in the last year.

"We're achieving a very solid track record of success rate, way above the 65 per cent national average," says Gary. "Our last sale achieved 89 per cent. That's the average we have maintained across the residential market this year."

Ground rent investors have their own separate session after 6pm. There will be 48 lots in this sale, including local authority-owned land fronting Christchurch Avenue, Wealdstone, with a guide price of £1.4 million to £1.5 million. This is a freehold, broadly triangular, site of more than half an acre, with potential for a care home or residential development.

"We will have interest from local developers and from speculators in this," says Gary Murphy.

"I suspect it will attract a local buyer, but we hope to attract as broad an interest as possible."

Number 73 Niton Street in Fulham is guided at £900,000 to £1 million. The freehold end-of-terrace building has two self-contained flats and offers possible potential for conversion into a single dwelling, subject to consent.

Number 5 Sandwich Street, Bloomsbury, is guided at £1 million to £1.1 million. A freehold mid-terrace five-storey building, it is arranged as two maisonettes, each subject to an assured shorthold tenancy. It has potential to convert into a single house, subject to consents. Total current rent reserved is £52,143 a year.

Number 1 Herondale Avenue, Wandsworth Common is a freehold semi-detached building. Arranged to provide two self-contained flats and one self-contained maisonette, it too has potential for conversion to provide a single family house.

There have been other tales of success in the auctions market. As if to buck all current market trends, King Sturge's October property auction raised more than £7 million at a success rate of 85 per cent, with only three properties unsold at the end of the auction.

Among the highlights were sales on behalf of Aviva, Thames Water and Santander Bank. A former 13,900 sq ft nightclub at 52 High Street Wandsworth sold for £940,000, 37 per cent above guide price.

Later in the auction, a vacant modern 3,000 sq ft office building in Crawley sold for £290,000 - a thumping 45 per cent above guide. Both sales were debt recovery related.

Commenting on the day, auctioneer Felix Rigg says: "I attribute this success to our market knowledge - knowing which potential buyers to target and making sure they had everything they needed in order to bid with confidence. Marketing by auction in this economic climate is not just a matter of churning out a catalogue and hoping it will sell itself. We think carefully about exactly who will be interested in each lot and target them accordingly."

Last updated: 4:02pm, December 2 2010