December sale raises £29.27m

7th December 2012

Acuitus raised £29.27m at its final auction of 2012 as investors targeted long-term income

The auction success rate of 85% was Acuitus’s highets of the year. Of the 53 lots offered, 39 sold in the room with six selling prior.

Acuitus auctioneer Richard Auterac commented: “This was an emphatic end to our 2012 auction programme. The increased market momentum that our October auction showed was carried through to this sale as investors locked into the long-term income opportunities on offer.

“In a week when the Autumn Statement gave little cheer to the wider investment market, the auction demonstrated the increasing popularity of property as a medium to deliver returns. Several of the buyers today were picking up investments specifically for pension planning purposes.

“Bricks and mortar investments are being viewed by some investors including those from overseas as having the same defensive qualities as gold but with the substantial advantages of high income returns with capital value growth when the economy eventually recovers.

“Once again, investors showed an appetite for a widening range of assets both in terms of type and geography. Whereas earlier this year, buyers were focusing almost exclusively on properties in London and the South East, buying criteria now has a much broader base. This was illustrated by the sale of substantial properties in Leicester, Birmingham and Durham.

“This is a very positive trend as we head into 2013.”

Four trade counter warehouses offered in the sale all sold. A 10,106-sq ft unit in Guildford let to Wolseley at a current rent of £98,500pasold before the auction for in excess of £1.1m.


Buyers were also attracted to newly let shops with long-term income. Four high street shops occupied by Sue Ryder let on new 10-year leases all sold at an average yield of 5.90% while an 11,825-sq ft office building in London’s Bermondsey let to Action for Blind People at a current rent of £107,000 on a lease expiring in 2027 sold for £1.26m.

Richard Auterac commented: “We have some heavy-weight buyers who follow Acuitus and they, like us, have sensed following our last auction that there has been a turning point.

“However, this remains very much a market for the expert investor, but with an improved flow of assets coming into the room, expert pricing and strengthening buyer power, the auction sector can head into 2013 with a renewed sense of purpose.”

Other sales in the room included:

  • 98 Above Bar Street, Southampton: a prime freehold retail investment let to Burger King at a current rent of £110,000pa sold for£1.05m
  • Humberstone House, Leicester: a 29,794 sq ft freehold office building currently producing £159,840 pa sold for £850,000
  • 180 Drury Lane: a 1,796 sq ft freehold retail, office and residential property in London’s Covent Garden currently producing £9,000pa sold for £490,000
  • Three LA Fitness Centres: all found buyers with the centre in Hove which currently produces income of £222,533pa selling for £1.17m
  • 68 Uxbridge Road, London: a 1,890 sq ft freehold retail investment let to Greggs on a new 10-year lease currently producing £80,900pa sold for £1.355m
  • Tilbury, Kent: a 9.3-acre site with planning consent for industrial development sold for £755,000

Acuitus is now taking sale instructions for its first auction of 2013 which will take place on February 14th at the Millennium Hotel, London W1.