Investors demonstrated how quickly they have adapted to remote bidding at commercial property auctions as Acuitus raised £13.355m at its May sale and sold 73% of the lots offered.
Acuitus auctioneer, Richard Auterac, commented: “Great credit has to go to our selling clients and the investors who were bidding at today’s auction for the way in which they have quickly got to grips with this new mode.
“We’ve had very positive feedback to the way the sale was staged and how we sought to create the same environment as the auction room. We believe that the human element of auctions remains extremely important – and especially providing direct access to the expertise of our team.
“While the current situation does not allow us to offer properties in a public auction room, we were able to continue to provide private investors the opportunity to purchase by their preferred method – be that by telephone, by proxy or online. We were very pleased to see how our clients and buyers have responded to these channels.”
The largest lot of the May sale was a redevelopment site in London’s East Finchley which sold prior for in excess of £4m. The 0.33-acre site opposite East Finchley underground station has planning consent for 21 flats. The permission also encompasses B1 office use on the ground and lower ground floors.
Auterac commented: “At a time when people are wondering about the future trajectory of the London residential development sector this was an endorsement of the market’s prospects”.
Further evidence of investor belief in the capital was demonstrated by the sale of a retail and residential investment in Harrow for £645,000 at a yield of 3.45%. The Streatfield Road property comprises a shop let on a new 15-year lease at a current rent of £24,000, and a self-contained, four-room maisonette on the upper floors.
Another potential development site – this time on the High Street in Chatteris, Cambridgeshire – also attracted interest at the sale. The unoccupied 6,795 sq ft supermarket – currently let to Booker Retail Partners (GB) until 2037 at a current rent of £80,000 – also has a 30-space car park at the rear of the property which makes it potentially suitable for either development or a change of use. It sold for £1.042m at a yield of 7.2% and attracted 204 bids.
Richard Auterac commented: “The progress of the commercial property investment market will become clearer as business life begins to return to more normality in the coming months. During that time, auctions will play an important part in both giving investors immediate access to a diverse range of assets, and providing sellers with the opportunity to offer their properties for sale confident in the knowledge that they are being fully exposed to the market.
“We are pleased that our new method of conducting auctions has been well-received and look forward to our next sale in July.”
The next Acuitus auction of 2020 will take place on July 9th. More details at Acuitus.co.uk