Acuitus Auction Raises £22m

12th July 2010

A Barclays Bank in Chiswick, West London, sold for £4m as Acuitus raised £22m from its second commercial property auction at the Millennium Hotel in London’s West End.

The 2,900-sq ft Barclays Bank at 149-153 Chiswick High Road with residential and office  accommodation above sold  for Knight Frank LPA Receivers at a yield of 4.89%. The 56-lot sale saw Acuitus raise nearly £4m more than in its maiden sale.

Bank-occupied investments once again proved popular as another Barclays branch in Folkestone sold for £1.31m at a yield of just over 5% again for Knight Frank LPA Receivers.

Acuitus auctioneer, Richard Auterac, commented: “It’s been a tough week for commercial property auctions – as results from other sales have shown – but our auction has demonstrated that quality still sells and sells well. This is illustrated by the average sale price which was £821,212 per lot.

“The market has changed markedly during the past three months with buyers and sellers still coming to terms with the new conditions.

“Last week’s sale was very much back to basics with ground rents attracting strong interest and also investments with solid covenants – such as the three Enterprise Inn pubs which sold for a total of £3.189m at an average yield of under 7%.

“Realistic pricing of short income properties is essential and we anticipate that the expectations of both buyers and sellers will move into closer alignment over the coming months. The sales that have taken place have provided a clear pointer for re-basing the more secondary investments for the autumn when I think buyers will be able to proceed with the benefit of clearer pricing levels. “

Other notable sales included:

  • A prime freehold retail and residential investment at 59 St John’s Wood High Street sold for £1.95m at a yield of 4.45%
  • 3 ground rent investments on the well-established Middlefield Industrial Estate in Sandy, Bedfordshire sold for a total of £938,000 at an average yield of 5.4%
  • Short lease investments: a 16,143-sq ft unit at Glasgow Airport owned by Scottish Widows Investment Partnership and  let to DHL with five years to lease expiry sold for £1.1025m at a yield of 8.01% while a Clinton Cards unit on Chesterfield High Street with six months to run sold on behalf of Jones Lang LaSalle LPA Receivers for £725,000 at a yield of 8.22%
  • A 9,700-sq ft trade counter investment in Eastleigh, Hampshire, sold for £1.06m at a yield of just over 7.1%
  • A Nando’s in Harrow offered by F&C Reit successfully sold for £1,100,000 a yield of 6.0%

Richard Auterac commented: “The strong performance of the banking and Central London pub lots in the sale was pleasing but the performance of the short lease investments shows that if assets are properly brought forward to the market then they will find a buyer. It is this tailored approach that Acuitus specialises in.

“It’s a very precise market at present but there is definitely value to be had and we expect that the autumn sales will attract a new raft of buyers who have been waiting to enter the market and seek to take advantage of where they believe assets are underpriced.”

Acuitus’s next sale will take place on October 21 at the Millennium Hotel, Grosvenor Square, London W1.