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What is driving auction sales in 2018?

Monday 30 July 2018

We take a look at how 2018 is treating property and chattels auctioneers so far. Clive Emson auctioneers put the success of their business down to to the diversity of lots on offer. Elsewhere Cheffins provides analysis on what's driving the agricultural market fairing following Brexit and uncertainty over EU subsidies for farmers.

Variety is key in challenging conditions

Variety remains the key for Clive Emson Auctioneers as the market continues to react to uncertain conditions.

The company catalogued 171 lots for the Summer sale which took place across five days in five venues from July 23 and almost £20 million was raised.

Managing Director James Emson said: “No two lots are ever the same with Clive Emson – and that uniqueness is a key factor when the market is experiencing challenging conditions.

“We strive to offer as diverse a list of lots as possible – from the biggest buildings to the most quirky properties – which continues to attract huge numbers of customers to our sales.

“Add this to the natural transparency surrounding auction transactions and you can see why we continue to offer the best deals for vendors and purchasers.”

July auction sale highlights included a buyer making a sizeable deposit of £85,000 for a former NatWest Bank centrally located in Saltash, Cornwall, including a working cash machine to be let at £1,000 per annum to generate some return on investment.

A former trout farm with potential on 12 acres in Hythe on the Kent coast exceeded expectations when it reeled in a new owner when it was sold for £270,000 – £120,000 more than the guide price.

A secondhand car sales and repair garage in Fareham, Hampshire with consent for demolition and five new houses went under the auctioneer’s hammer for £615,000 in a bidding war.

In Chigwell, Essex, a cottage left in a shell-like state and unoccupied after extension work on it stopped two years ago was sold for £364,000.

A Hastings Old Town the substantial commercial building Roebuck House, currently housing a doctors’ surgery and a pharmacy – generating £78,000 per annum in rent and with conversion potential – sold for £700,000 after fierce bidding.

James added: “We hope everyone has an excellent August break while we prepare for our September sale where we hope to see confidence returning to the market.”

Agricultural chattels

Cheffins has reported a successful second quarter as higher commodity prices and strong Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) payments provide UK-based farmers a welcome boost following Brexit woes since 2016.

With six on-farm auctions having taken place in Q2 2018, total gross sales have topped £3.4m over a total of 1,872 lots. Auctions have occurred the width and breadth of the country, with the top selling lot for Q2 being a 2013 John Deere S680 combine harvester, which sold for £149,000. 

Of the six sales which took place in the past three months, Cheffins say that the majority were the result of UK farmers entering into joint ventures with neighbouring landowners or trading up farm machinery for larger, higher horse powered kit as acreages increase. Their on-farm sales have also seen increasing numbers of UK farmers in attendance, looking to pick up top quality second-hand items in place of buying new. 

Bill King, Chairman, Cheffins comments: “Higher BPS payments and rising commodity prices have created favourable conditions within the market which has led to a number of farmers entering into joint ventures or releasing capital from farms in order to trade up machinery or buy more land.  

"This has directly led to a series of high value on-farm sales as UK-farmers begin to bounce back from the uncertainty experienced following the Brexit vote. Whilst it cannot be denied that the future of subsidies remains unclear, the combination of positive factors within the market has helped the industry to start to return to normal. In a similar vein, we have seen a marked increase in the number of end-users attending auctions in order to trade up kit, illustrating improved confidence within UK agriculture.

"Another driving force in the market for second-hand machinery is UK-based dealers attending on-farm sales as they look to underpin stock following high demand over the past six months. It has become clear in recent months that many farmers are not stopping expansion plans due to Brexit and the spring in farming’s step is a welcome change from the doom and gloom which has been sensed by many since June 2016.

Competition from overseas also pushing prices up

Bill continues: "We have also seen an uplift in the numbers of overseas buyers at on-site sales, from Eastern Europe, Spain or Ireland in the main, and the competition between these and UK buyers has helped to push up prices for the best quality machinery. The option for online bidding at on-farm sales has also helped to increase Cheffins’ customer base and ensured that these sales make as high prices for items as within any other environment. The number of on-farm sales conducted by Cheffins has doubled in the past three years and with an already busy diary for the remainder of 2018, we expect these to continue to rise in popularity.”

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