Lots of action for auction houses

By Charlie Jacoby, March 31, 2011
Top Network Auctions lots included this semi

Top Network Auctions lots included this semi

Spring auctions have seen good take-up. In March, Auction House London achieved 86 per cent sales to a packed room. Among lots sold were a flat in London NW6, with permission to extend, which went for £268,000 and a garden flat in Hove, for £176,000.

Meanwhile, "it just gets bigger and better!" said Network Auctions director, Toby Limbrick. Network Auctions offered 40 lots in its March auction, its best attended for over a year. "Buyers were keen to snap up sensibly-priced property," says Mr Limbrick. Stars included a freehold local authority house in need of modernisation, sold for £173,000 (the reserve was less than £100,000). More than 100 people viewed this property. A detached bungalow needing modernisation sold for £392,000 (£42,000 above guide).

Acuitus raised £25.05 million from its February auction, characterised by a broad range of international and domestic buyers investing in an equally broad range of assets. The sale saw Acuitus's highest "in the room" success rate - 69 per cent - since its launch last May. At £1.3 million, the average sale price maintained Acuitus's reputation for consistently achieving average lot sale prices above £1 million. Acuitus auctioneer Richard Auterac comments: "The sale demonstrated the depth and variety of investor interest in the commercial property sector. The range of assets, the prices commanded and the yields reflected show that there are always buyers for assets that are brought to the market with a depth of detail and correctly priced."

By value, no one property type represented more than 23 per cent of Acuitus's lots sold and the geographic spread of properties included Ipswich, Glasgow, Milton Keynes, Cardiff, Hove, Mansfield, Redhill and Wakefield, as well as central London. Notable sales included a 8,117-sq ft freehold medical centre/office in Harrow. After competitive bidding, it sold at £1.2 million, a yield of 4.06 per cent (£400,000 above guide). All three Enterprise Inn pubs in the auction sold for a total of £2.65 million at yields from 6.2 to 7.06 per cent. Among them was the Lord Clyde pub in Islington, let to Enterprise Inns at a current rent of £65,000 per year.

In other auction news, Cushman & Wakefield is to close its UK commercial property auctions team. Its existing line-up, led by John Townsend, is to establish a new UK commercial property auctions team at CB Richard Ellis.

Also heading to CB Richard Ellis are David Margolis and Martin Cristopher. Cushman & Wakefield UK confirms that it will focus on investing in "other higher-margin areas" of its capital markets business. The team will move after the next scheduled auction on May 12.

Last updated: 10:43am, March 31 2011