Acuitus hits 2017 high as July auction raises £52.4m

14th July 2017

Acuitus recorded its biggest auction result of the year as the sale of 83% of the lots offered at its July sale raised £52.4m.

Of the 67 lots sold, a total of 16 achieved prices of more than £1m with highly reversionary short-leasehold investment in London’s Bloomsbury selling for £4.67m. Let to University College London until 2028 at a current rent of £528,175 and with a rent review in 2022, the Engineering Faculty building on Gower Street sold to a UK institution in the auction room.

Investors showed an appetite for a wide range of assets throughout the UK. A multi-let office building in Coventry with future residential development potential and current income of £142,919 sold for £2m off a guide price of £1.6m, while an 18-unit industrial estate in Hinckley sold for £1.2m off a guide price of £1.6m.

Acuitus Chairman, Richard Auterac, commented: “The sale reflected the diversity of demand in the market at present. Buyers are not just seeking long-term income; there is a distinct air of entrepreneurialism in the auction room at present and future residential potential from change of use is still a strong driver of investor interest”.

Retail investments throughout the country sold well at the sale. A shop with a flat above in Ruislip High Street sold for £675,000 at a yield of 5.15% while an Iceland-occupied supermarket in Ramsgate sold for £1.165m at a yield of 6.6%.

Richard Auterac commented: “As we head into the summer break, this was an emphatic message from investors about their sentiment towards commercial property. If assets are priced correctly and professionally and thoroughly exposed to the market they will find buyers.

“The private investor commercial property market did not suffer from the mass inflows of global money and the hype associated with the prime and super prime market of the last 3-4 years. It has shown steady growth aligned with sustainable personal  income and corporate profits which have been recovering since the financial crisis and a more prudent supply of bank loans.”

Other lots which sold in the auction included:

  • Weymouth, Crescent Street: a 9,801 sq ft leisure investment let to Gala Leisure until 2039 (no breaks) with current income of £72,556pax with annual RPI uplifts sold for £1.12m at a yield of 6.09%
  • Skipton High Street: a freehold bank investment let to Barclays plc until 2026 (subject to option) adjoining Craven Court Shopping Centre with current income of £140,000pax sold for £1.725m at yield of 7.6%
  • Potters Bar, Darkes Lane: a parade of five separate retail investments sold for a total of £2.71m at yields ranging from 5% to 6.6%

The next Acuitus auction will take place on October 19th at the Radisson Blu Portman Hotel, 22 Portman Square, London W1H 7BG.