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The golden gavel

Bringing £millions to auction houses and their partner estate agents, hopes are high for even greater growth in 2017.

The Negotiator
Forest Hall auction property image

West Lane, Forest Hall.

David Sandeman’s first auction report for 2017 shows good news for auction houses, after a challenging few months as 2016 drew to a close.

Overall, in residential and commercial auctions, the number of lots offered in December was up over 12 per cent, from 3,336 lots to 3,745 lots, whilst lots sold increased by 9 per cent, from 2,591 to 2,830. This is the largest ever number of lots offered and sold during December, beating the previous highs recorded in December 2007 (3,529 lots offered) and December 2013 (2,675 lots sold).

Finally, the amount raised also saw a sizeable increase – up five per cent to £537 million, the largest amount realised in December for 10 years.

Residential lots offered increased by almost 12 per cent in December, equating to 317 more lots being offered when compared with December 2015. The large gain in the number of residential instructions helped to propel Q4 into a 1.4 per cent gain in this regard, from 7,246 in Q4 15 to 7,351 in Q4 16, whilst annually the market saw growth of 4.2 per cent equating to 1,136 more lots being offered compared with 2015.

Here’s our roundup of the auction houses to work with in 2017.


Pattinson Auction was the winner of the Auction House of the Year in the 2016 Negotiator Awards. The judges praised their new branding – and their excellent use of it, which, in a world where branding is absolutely key to securing customers’ interest, is very good news for them.

After a highly successful 2016. Pattinson is looking forward to another great year for its 31 branches, which include auctions, sales and commercial departments.

A range of fantastic homes in the North East will go under the hammer in the first Pattinson Auction of 2017 at Kingston Park Rugby Ground, Newcastle upon Tyne.

“More people are buying property through auction,” says Nisha Shabilla, Pattinson Auction Manager in the North East.

“There are some unique homes on offer including fantastic investment opportunities. We expect there will be a real buzz around our properties up for auction this year.”

West Lane, Forest Hall, pictured, is one of the lots on offer, with a starting bid of £270,000. It is a four bed detached house with a double garage and gardens, four double bedrooms and three receptions.


Auction House, which won _ e Negotiator Awards Franchise or Network of the Year 2016, had a great year. Roger Lake reports that Auction House sold a record 3336 lots in 2016, with a 77.7 per cent success rate, up on 2015, raising £439 million.

Roger Lake image

Roger Lake

Roger says, “We put the ability to outsell all our competitors down to what we call ‘retail auctioneering’ – a model which appeals to corporate, public sector and private sellers. Put simply, we sell to local buyers at higher prices through regional auction rooms, achieving prices similar to or ahead of those delivered by estate agents. Regional auction rooms are capturing an increasing share of all auction sales and will continue to be the engine room for growth in 2017.

“The practice of selling to owner–occupiers as well as investors provides an additional benefit. _ e Buy-to-live sector has a three per cent price advantage and the mortgage process is now fast enough to see buyers bidding with a mortgage offer already in hand. December was our second busiest month of the year with sales of 435 lots highlighting the continuing strong demand for auction properties.”

Auction House has a busy 2017 planned, including the official launch of the new Auction House North West and the launch of the new Auction House Bristol & West later in the year.


Toby Limerick image

Closing another excellent year of growth, five new offices have recently joined Network Auctions: Redstones in Walsall, Wolverhampton and Telford, Hinton and Downes in Harrow Weald and Eric Clarke estate agents in Farnworth, Bolton.

Toby Limbrick, Manging Director of Network Auctions said, “We had a record year in our traditional auction business and Network E is a fabulous addition to our business. Our partner agents are using it to secure new business and successfully sell property that would otherwise be at the mercy of the private treaty market.”

Following their Network E success in Redhill when Network Auctions’ partner agent Power Bespoke achieved £465,000 against a guide of £350,000, another fabulous result was achieved in Cassiobury, Watford, on the market with Network Auctions partner Elliott Residential with a guide of £830,000. The online Network E auction achieved a sale at £1,035,000.

Simon Meager at Elliott Residential said, “We were instructed by Executors and recommended Network E as the method of sale as it combined the best aspects of a private treaty sale with the transparency, certainty and speed of an auction.

“The three open house sessions, with sixty interested parties, also generated a number of valuations and a property instruction that is likely to follow the Network E route.”


Allsop Residential Auctions imageAllsop Residential Auctions raised £432m in 2016 with a sales success rate of 78 per cent against a market average of 74 per cent. In total, 1,222 lots were sold with an average value of £353,000 (£308,000 in 2015). Higher value lots increased in volume with 112 sales realising in excess of £1m (90 in 2105).

Across commercial and residential, Allsop raised a combined £1.042bn (17 per cent up on 2015). Gary Murphy, Partner and Auctioneer for Allsop says, “Opportunities with permitted development rights (PDR) became scarcer and buyers more discerning. PDR is still a popular lot class but sensible pricing will be key in 2017. Rises in value and volume in the South East are due to confidence in the auction method as a route to market for higher value residential properties.”


Ian Kitson image

Cheffins sold a total of £11,157,700 worth of property by auction in 2016.

Over £1.65m worth of property sales were achieved at Cheffins’ December auction across 13 lots, with a sale rate over 77 per cent. Investment properties offering scope for development or with options to renovate attracted the most interest, with competitive bidding and results well over guide prices across multiple properties.

The highest value lot was a development site of 0.2 acres in Westfield Road, Great Shelford, near Cambridge. The site had planning permission for the demolition of an existing bungalow and the creation of two detached houses.

“The property generated fierce bidding and the site sold for £419,000 to a local developer.

A similar offering was lot 11, Brickyard Cottage in Bradley Common, near Bishops Stortford.

Ian Kitson, Associate, Cheffins, said, “December sales often feature slightly smaller catalogues than the rest of the year, but there was good interest throughout the marketing period. The sale rate of 77 per cent appears strong compared to some of the results reported nationally and we attribute this to the quality of lots on offer, as well as the popularity of our region.”


SVA Property Auctions imageAt its final sale of 2016, SVA Property Auctions, Scotland’s independent property auction company, achieved sales of over £2 million in a packed room with highly competitive bidding.

Highlights included the sale of a former bank premises on Bridge Road in Edinburgh’s desirable Colinton area, which sold for £230,000 under the hammer – well above the guide price.

SVA Property Director and auctioneer, Shaun Viger, said, “The Colinton property was part of a 100 per cent successful auction for a client whose portfolio of seven former bank branches and a redundant flat raised just under £1 million.”

Two land plots were also stand out successes with a 4.3 acre development site at Plains near Airdrie selling for £209,000 under the hammer and a 8.4 acre development site at Tain selling post auction for close to the guide price of £150,000. Both sites had lapsed consent, dating back a decade or so to the period of onerous section 75 requirements.

Says Shaun, “It was good to see buyers with a contemporary vision for these sites which have sat undeveloped for so long. I would anticipate that they will submit new planning applications to the local councils which will reflect current thought on residential development and that they will be successful.”


Buckland Hospital, Dover, image

Clive Emson sold land and property worth more than £15 million at its last sale of 2016.

The company catalogued 110 lots and achieved a sale rate of 80 per cent during the December auction.

Managing Director James Emson said, “As we look back at 2016 there can be no doubt that we have been facing challenging and uncertain times.

“However, the Clive Emson work ethic that we provide a quality service to vendors and purchasers has stood us in good stead.

“In 2017 we will continually strive to improve our business, seeking new ways to benefit our customers and ensuring standards remain high no matter what trading conditions we face.

“Our online auction is going from strength to strength and the old adage that the best place to put your money is in bricks and mortar has never rung more truly.”

A star lot at the December sale was a substantial part of the former Buckland Hospital in Coombe Valley Road, Dover, which sold for £1,450,000. The guide price was £300,000 to £320,000.

Kevin Gilbert, auctioneer, said, “Development potential saw investors and developers compete with each other and push the price incredibly high. It just proves that for the right lot there is a lot of demand.”

On a smaller, but no less interesting scale, a footpath in a semi-rural location at the rear of five cottages near the village of Wadhurst, East Sussex, sold for the princely sum of £20, freehold.


Romans’ last auction of 2016 in Reading, Berkshire, sold 87 per cent of the lots with some exceptional prices achieved and the total capital amount sold for clients was the highest figure this year.

Simon Clayton, Romans Auctions Director said, “Despite experiencing several influencing factors throughout the year, including Brexit, that may have affected buyer’s confidence; we saw some extraordinary bidding.

“It definitely demonstrates that the right lots at the right guide prices are still very attractive to the investment market. We’ve had our ups and downs this year, however overall, it was a fantastic 2016 and this final result really was the icing on the cake.

“Sellers held their nerve and a very high percentage of the lots sold in the room, all for their guide prices or more and many for significantly more than their guide price.”

One of the star lots was a parcel of several pieces of land, without planning permission, in Ringway, Southall, London, being sold for a charity and offered with no reserve, which eventually sold for £817,000.


Andrews & Robertson property imageAndrews & Robertson closed its 2016 calendar of auctions on a high with a strong 77 per cent sale in December at The Montcalm Hotel, London, which raised £14.5m, with an average lot size of £260,000, In Peckham, SE15, (below) a freehold double fronted semi-detached house arranged as two self-contained flats sold by Southwark Council. Guided at £600,000, it sold for £692,000.

Chairman Robin Cripp said, “We were delighted to complete our 2016 calendar with a catalogue of attractive opportunities which resulted in competitive bidding, securing strong prices for our vendors. We end the year, maintaining our position as one of the UK’s leading property auctioneers in respect of sales by value and volume, with the outlook for 2017 remaining positive.”


SDL Graham Penny auctioneers imageAfter a hugely successful 2016, SDL Graham Penny, the new name for the successful auctioneer in the East Midlands, has announced 20 auction dates across Derby, Nottingham, Leicester and Stoke. The first is at its newest auction venue, the bet365 Stadium in Stoke on Friday 27th January.

Andrew Parker, Auctioneer and Managing Director, said, “2016 was hugely successful and we start our 2017 calendar on a high. Not only have we topped £100m in sales within the group this year, we were also awarded the silver trophy for Residential Auction House of the Year.”

SDL Graham Penny joined the SDL Group in early 2016, making the SDL Auctions network the fourth largest in the UK and the biggest outside of London.

Since inception in 2006, it has sold more than 5,000 lots across the East Midlands and raised over £500m for clients.

IAM Sold image

Jamie Cooke

Jamie Cooke, Managing Director of IAM Sold, reports excellent results in 2016 and looks forward to an even better 2017.

“We anticipate major growth in the sector and appetite for agents to embrace auctions as part of their strategy for winning business in 2017. Our year on year data shows a 55 per cent uplift in capital value on a 33 per cent uplift in sales, showing the rise in higher value properties using auction as a method of sale. In the six months to 31st October 2016, we realised £163 million in capital value, 11 per cent above the listed reserves price, on average.

“With new entrants disrupting the traditional estate agency model, a wealth of different online offers and platforms and competition among high street agents as fierce as ever, more agents are adopting a hybrid solution, being able to offer clients the option of going to auction to sell their property is just one part of this.

“As agents continue to build auction into their marketing package, we are also starting to see a major shift in public perception. Our stats from last year show a significant proportion of consumers turning to auction to buy property for their own use with almost a direct split between cash and mortgaged purchases.”

January 23, 2017

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