'Desire to sell stronger than ever' as auction house reports record sales

Auction sign with building background

Auction House East Anglia has experienced a busy February and a record start to 2021 - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Auction House is reporting a strong start to the year, with nearly twice as many February entries as other UK property auctioneers.

The group – which operates as Auction House East Anglia in our region – offered 561 lots into its February sales, which chartered surveyor Robert Hurst said was a clear indication that sellers and buyers are making the most of the Stamp Duty holiday.

“This continuing hunger for sale by auction is a clear indication that sellers and buyers are capitalising on the demand fuelled by the Stamp Duty Holiday," he said. 

“The lead time between entering and exchanging contracts is now down to just three weeks at auction, compared to what can be longer than three months by private treaty."

Robert says that the auction market is also currently undergoing massive change, thanks to the increased flexibility offered by livestream auctions. “We are running more regular events to meet the needs of our sellers," he explains.

"We are selling more lots prior to auction when our vendors prefer it, and we are able to tie-up more post-auction sales too. Together with selling on the day, the outcome is a noticeably higher success rate.”

Auction key on the keyboard, 3d rendering,conceptual image.

Online livestreamed auctions have offered real flexibility for buyers and helped to transform the auction market - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The widening appeal of auction is confirmed by the number of big-ticket lots entered into Auction House sales in February, each guided at £1m or more. These include a 20-bed block of apartments in Northamptonshire (£1.5m), a five-bed semi in London (£1.2m), and a block of seven flats and two shops in Devon (£1m).

This month sees a selection of unusual properties too, from a nuclear bunker in Cornwall (£25,000-£35,000), to a former pumping station in Suffolk (£400,000), a decommissioned reservoir in North Yorkshire (£45,000), a Victorian theatre in Manchester (£950,000) and even a water tower in Bedfordshire (£190,000).

Robert added: “As you can see, auction is no longer the sole reserve of properties from the bargain-basement. Similarly, the wide range of lots available demonstrates the sheer variety of what can be bought and sold under the hammer. So, if you have a property you think might be suitable for auction, please get in touch with us.

“Some commentators are suggesting that the end of the Stamp Duty Holiday means that private treaty demand will collapse over the coming months. At Auction House, we think differently – not only because our entries are priced to sell, but also because our pool of repeat buyers are continuing to purchase regularly.

"The desire to sell seems stronger than ever; Covid restrictions have highlighted people’s urgency and auction is delivering at an exceptional level.”

Auction House East Anglia holds its next livestream auction at 11am on Wednesday, March 24. Entries are continuously invited and you can book a valuation via the website at auctionhouse.co.uk/eastanglia or by calling 01603 505100.