We take a look at the successful month of March, which saw record-breaks for Auction House London and SDL Property Auctions, as well as millions raised at Bond Wolfe Auctions and Auction House.
Will we see even greater results as we ease out of lockdown?
Buyer appetite fuels Auction House London sales
The appetite from buyers for auction property shows no signs of slowing down with sales totalling more than £30 million for Auction House London in March.
The auctioneer held two auctions last month – March 3 and 10 – to meet rising demand. The sale saw many properties selling above the reserve prices agreed by sellers.
Andrew Binstock, director and auctioneer at Auction House London, says: “Based on this month’s sales, the market is clearly strong, with many lots selling for unfathomable and unexpected prices. Obviously, when a seller has agreed a single reserve price, which has to be within 10% of a guide price, it’s the competition in the market which sets the final sale amount.”
“Our live stream auctions have been embraced by buyers and get better results for sellers than online-only sales. It’s a formula we will continue, even as lockdown eases.”
The auctioneer says 76% of the 77 lots offered at the March 30 auction sold, raising £12 million (£12,613,000) with many highlights, including a shell of a property in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, which was guided at £195,000 and sold for £416,500, having attracted 103 bids.
Modernisation projects are firing the imagination with buyers, with a semi-detached home in Middlesex, Harrow, selling for £465,000 and in Staines a semi sold for £378,000 – more than £100,000 above its £250,000 guide.
Auction House London is now taking entries for its next sale on Thursday May 6 at 12 noon, which will be streamed live.
Bond Wolfe sets new record with more than £30m raised
Bond Wolfe Auctions has set the bar high after raising over £30.2 million in sales at its latest auction on March 31.
The auction house sold a total of 205 lots from 218 offered, achieving a success rate of 95%. Interest remained high with 814,817 website page views, 161,168 video tours viewed and 34,336 tuning in to watch the auction live on the day.
Gurpreet Bassi, chief executive of Bond Wolfe Auctions, comments: “We knew that our auction had attracted strong interest, but as we watched each sale on the day the statistics just got better and better.”
“This record-breaking result underlines the huge and growing appeal of our live-streamed auctions and shows how the demand for well-priced property is still increasing.”
Bassi described how the auction got off to ‘a cracking start’ when the former Sedgley Police Station in the Black Country, parts of which dated back to the 18th century, sold for £820,000 from a guide price of £260,000-plus.
Meanwhile, a three-bedroomed, semi-detached house at 136 Stroud Road in Shirley, Solihull that needed modernisation drew multiple bids before selling for £192,000 against a guide of £85,000-plus.
Bidders also competed for a three-bedroomed, end-terraced house at 38 Gracemere Crescent in Hall Green, Birmingham, which sold for £142,000 from a guide price of £85,000, and a similar property nearby at 31 Barbara Road which sold for £139,000 from a guide price of £85,000-plus.
Lots of land also proved popular, with 0.7-acres on the southeast side of Dudley Port in Tipton selling prior to auction for £455,000 from a guide price of £375,000-plus.
Additionally, a row of nine Grade II-listed Georgian townhouses at 30 to 46 Hamstead Road in Hockley, once owned by the son of former Prime Minister and founder of the modern police force, Sir Robert Peel, were sold prior to auction for a combined price of £2.95 million, from a total guide price of £2.635 million.
Bassi adds: “The sheer range of properties we had for sale from all over the UK as well as in our Midlands heartland was what attracted so many keen bidders from across the country and abroad.”
“Our auction dates are now firmly in the diaries of all serious property investors who know that there is always a great choice available.”
Bond Wolfe Auction’s next sale takes place on May 19.
March sales up by 184% at SDL Property Auctions
SDL Property Auctions has completed its most successful March ever, raising more than £28.8 million for sellers – an 184% increase on March 2020.
By maintaining a continuous service throughout the pandemic, SDL says it has experienced growth in every area of its business, increasing the number of lots sold by 94% compared to last March and trebling the income for estate agents within its 1,300-strong partner network.
The end of March marked a full year of holding live-streamed auctions during the pandemic, providing managing director and auctioneer Andrew Parker with the opportunity to reflect on the company’s growth.
He says: “What a difference a year makes! In March 2020 we took the difficult decision to hold our auctions behind closed doors, several days before the government announced the nationwide lockdown.
“Our intention was never to cash in on the pandemic but to provide a service to help people sell their properties while the rest of the property market was closed for business. Our instincts and experience told us that people would still need to buy and sell property as this often goes hand in hand with other major life events so we wanted to be there for those who needed us most.”
Parker adds: “While the pandemic has been challenging for everyone – and tragic for far too many people – we are incredibly proud of our team’s ability and willingness to adapt to new ways of working and of the way we have all turned SDL Property Auctions into a nationwide, market-leading business.”
In the past year, the company has extended its geographical reach to attract sellers from all over the UK, from the north of Scotland down to the south coast.
Regarding highlights, a property in Hampshire provided one of the most outstanding results in its March National Property Auction. 56 King George Road in Andover, a fire-damaged property sold in partnership with Countrywide Property Auctions, sold for £129,000 – almost three times its guide price of £46,000-plus.
The property was part of a bumper auction catalogue, which Andrew and auctioneer colleagues Rory Daly and Graham Penny worked their way through over the course of 10 hours.
Alongside the monthly ‘Auction Events’, SDL Property Auctions also sells properties by ‘Timed Auction’ on its website every day of the year.
Among its Timed Auction sales in March was an attractive Grade II-listed former mill cottage, old watermill and bakehouse in Shropshire. Corn Mill and Mill House Clee St Margaret in Ludlow was offered for sale in partnership with Nock Deighton and sold for £345,000 against a guide of £325,000-plus.
Parker explains: “Over the past year we’ve shown that auctions can be held safely within social distancing restrictions and can achieve fantastic results for sellers of all types of property. We have shown many more people just how fast, certain – and effective – auctions are, which is laying down the foundations for further success in the future.”
Auction House ‘the F1 of auctioneers’ in strongest March ever
Auction House is reporting the ‘best-ever’ annual first quarter in its 14-year history.
A total of 826 properties were sold between January and March this year, from 1,041 offered – a success rate of 79.35%, raising a total of over £128 million. The amount of money raised is 38.9% above its Q1 2020 results of £92 million.
It was also the best-ever March for the group, with 371 lots sold from 459 offered – a success rate of 80.83% and a total raised of £63,667,201.
Commenting on the results, newly appointed managing director Jeremy Prior says: “These are the sorts of figures which will really make our competitors sit up and take notice! Nobody out there is performing quite like we are and nobody else has the same number of lots going under the hammer. Auction House has turned into the F1 of property auctioneers – and the truth is, there’s plenty of mileage left in the tank!”
Prior – who worked as a director of the Auction House Group for 11 years and Chairman for the past two years before taking over as managing director when Roger Lake retired last month – says the figures are ‘nothing less than exceptional’.
“A year ago, who would have thought that a business which used to rely on holding room auctions at venues across the UK could continue to flourish through three national lockdowns and a ban on people gathering together?” he says.
“It’s incredible to see how our teams around the country have not only adapted to the new way of working, but they have also positively embraced it – with online auctions instantly gathering momentum and our live stream sales attracting record numbers of registered bidders well into four figures for many of our auctions.”
“All of this bodes well for our new marketing approach, which is about to swing into operation, as well as other exciting ideas we have to take the business forward. We’ve made a substantial financial investment in a new digital platform which will launch in Q4 of this year and have hired a digital content creator to help ensure that we retain our position as the number one auctioneer in the country.”
Auction House’s National Annual Conference will take place on June 3, held virtually via Zoom for the first time.
“This is an incredible time to be taking over as MD of the Auction House Group. Right now, we are approaching partner agents and national suppliers of stock, as well as forging new contacts and relationships, to help us expand still further,” Prior concludes.