Auction action

By Charlie Jacoby, August 18, 2011
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On the day that PWC predicted house prices "won't recover until 2020" and the RICS declared that the UK property market remained in stalemate, Allsop restored confidence by raising £47 million from 82 per cent of lots offered at its July 14 residential auction. This success brings the firm's receipts from property auction sales in just two weeks to more than £119 million. The total includes UK commercial sales of £57.3 million and Irish property disposals of 16.2 million euros (about £14.2 million).

Buyer demand at the July 14 sale was extremely strong, as a packed room saw seasoned investors and first-time buyers competing for lots. In all, 236 properties were successfully sold.

Gary Murphy, partner and auctioneer, comments: "Recent market commentary is at odds with our experience in the auction room. Buyers were competing hard and some were complaining that prices were too high."

One of the most popular deals of the day was a penthouse apartment overlooking the Olympic Stadium. The family who made the winning bid has had a recent flurry of success at Allsop auctions, having bought a penthouse in Dublin on July 7. A bid of £435,000 secured a three-bedroom apartment with unrivalled views of the Olympic stadium. They will be new landlords to the BBC, which will use the apartment as its anchor studio during the games.

Star lot: a flat with a view of the Olympic stadium

Another highlight was 19 Buckingham Road, Canons Park, HA8. Sold by the London Borough of Harrow, it is a freehold building on a site of about 0.125 hectares (0.31 acres) occupied by a two-storey office building and parking for 18 cars. There is potential for change of use to community or educational (D1), subject to consents. It went for £1.075 million (guide: £700,000 plus).

The morning saw a broad selection of regulated tenancy investments, comprising individual houses and flats, 17 on behalf of a quoted vendor. Yields established under the hammer averaged four per cent (national average for H1 2011 is 4.26 per cent). Buyers included private investors, corporate specialists and tenants. The sale lasted almost 10 hours, ending with a ground-rent session of 49 lots, many with low income but valuable reversions. "The ground rent market is pretty resilient" says Mr Murphy. "Specialist investors were out in force, but are evidently disciplined when it comes to setting limits on bidding for this type of stock."

    Last updated: 10:18am, August 18 2011