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Auction sales unaffected by Brexit

Thursday 21 March 2019

A report has found that, despite the uncertainty surrounding Britain's future within the EU, the auction market is thriving, with property transactions spiking in recent months.

According to Auction House Property Auctions UK, figures suggest that buying and selling has not been affected by ongoing negotiations, with the group's first six sales of the year achieving a success rate of over 80 per cent.

The number of lots entered in the firm’s first round of auctions for 2019 totalled 802 – outstripping last year’s figure of 754.

Head of Auctions, Charles Lovell, said: “The very nature of selling property at auction makes it less susceptible to economic uncertainty than other methods of sale. Auction finds buyers quickly and enables sellers to turn property assets into cash without delay. That speed, which can generate an exchange of contracts within three to four weeks of instruction, is a solution that sellers love.

“Estate agents may claim that people are biding their time until the UK has left the European Union – but that’s not what we’re seeing in our sales rooms. Our lot numbers are up, our sales rooms are busy, and we seem to be largely unaffected by the Brexit process.”

Charles says that whilst their figures prove that buyers are still purchasing local properties through regional auction rooms, that there are six questions vendors should be asking themselves to determine whether selling at auction would be right for them.

“Firstly – is the property you want to sell empty? If so, you’ll want to sell it fast and by auction. Secondly - is it mortgageable? If it isn’t, you should definitely choose auction. Thirdly - would it benefit from refurbishment? If so, auction buyers will compete for it and push the price up.

“Fourthly – is the property commercial or mixed use? Both of those categories of property sell better by auction than other methods. Fifthly – is the property a parcel of land, or a building or development project? Again, if so, auction is an ideal method.

“And finally - is your property tenanted? The beauty of auctions is that you can sell it as an investment without needing to empty the property first. That way, you’ll receive rent through to completion, and the purchaser will start receiving rent from the day they take ownership.”

Charles added: “2018 was a year when more sellers chose the auction route and achieved a result when estate agents in the private treaty process had failed them. Yes, buyers will need to have funds in place, but they’ll find auction properties keenly priced, and the process reassuringly quick and certain. So our advice is don’t hold back.”