As Auction House reported its 1,000th sale this year – a three-bedroom terraced house in Bere Alston, Devon – the group’s new Managing Director, Jeremy Prior, says that the Covid epidemic has forced rapid change in the industry, with some of the new ways of working likely to remain in place forever.
The Devon property, which was guided at £138,000 but sold for £155,000, was a feature in their April live streamed auction, and Jeremy believes this online sales model will become the norm even after lockdown restrictions ease.
He explained: “Let’s face it, the room-only model of property auctions has been consigned to history. Regardless of the state of the pandemic or the lifting of restrictions in the future, no auctioneer worth their salt will be staging a sale where the only option for buyers will be to turn up in person.
“At the very least, auctions will be hybrid affairs, where room proceedings are also streamed live online. But frankly, it’s an open question as to whether some of our members will decide that because livestream sales have been so successful, there’s simply no benefit being in the room anymore. Even die-hard fans of room auctions are in two minds.”