Life & Culture

Auctions: what next?


The next round of property auctions is happening now - and they will be popular, if the spring series is anything to go by. Andrew Scott Robertson raised more than £14.1 million from its second auction of 2015. A diverse residential and commercial portfolio brought a strong 82 per cent success rate. Largest lot sold under the hammer was a freehold building arranged as four flats, in Camberwell, SE5, sold at £1.21 million.

A ground-rent investment in Fulham achieved more than seven times the asking price, selling for £33,000, and a terraced house in Plumstead attracted 74 viewings and more than 100 legal-document downloads, selling for £316,000 (£76,000 over guide).

As ever, properties with development potential sold well. A roof space in Oval, SW9, with planning submitted for a mansard roof extension, went for £40,000 (guide, £25,000). And with the South Coast a favourite of those escaping London's house prices, a vacant house in the Kemptown area of Brighton, guided at £185,000, attracted strong bidding, selling for £275,000.

Robin Cripp, chairman and head of auctions at Andrew Scott Robertson, says: "Despite the latest industry figures indicating a cooling off in the auction market in the run-up to the election, our results continue to indicate a strong demand for auction property. The large turnout demonstrates a keen interest from investors, institutions and the public, and hammer prices are encouragingly positive."

Auction House London achieved its highest ever sales figures at its April auction, raising more than £18 million. More than 500 people attended its new London venue at The Landmark London Hotel, Marylebone, and 60 lots were sold (83 per cent success).

A roof space (planning submitted) went for £40,000

A three-bedroom house in Fulham needing total refurbishment sold for £1.285 million, more than double its guide. Director Jamie Royston says: "This was a case of a vendor holding their nerve and setting a reserve and guide price which would raise interest. As expected, this property reached its true market value. Had we used a higher reserve and guide price the result might not have been so good."

Thanks to robust marketing, a late entry also attracted the crowds and sold well above guide and reserve. The property in Southall, Middlesex, was listed only four days before the auction, yet the one block viewing open to buyers was packed. Bidding on the three-bedroom Victorian terrace started at £250,000 and it sold for £311,000.

In the commercial market, Acuitus was due to hold a sale on May 21, after the JC went to press, offering 69 lots including retail, office, industrial and leisure assets producing total rental income of more than £5.5 million. Expected to sell well were 16 banks, let to National Westminster or Royal Bank of Scotland until at least 2026.

Lambert Smith Hampton's May 11 sale featured 56 lots; 46 sold on the day or prior. A Surrey estate agent's office and residential property with a possible change of use of the first floor and rent of £47,620 went for £675,000.

In a new development (literally) for London property auctioneers, Allsop has launched what it believes is the country's first online-only auction specifically for new-build homes (in this case, in West Drayton). Allsop's Gary Murphy says: "Seeing an increase of 100 per cent in internet bidding year on year at our live sale rooms, Allsop decided the industry needed a positive shake-up and pioneered the first online-only auction of new homes - aiming to set the UK benchmark for the sale of new-build properties."

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