Demand pushes February total to £28.1m

15th February 2013

A continued strengthening of investor demand saw Acuitus’s first auction of 2013 raise £28.1m with a success rate of 84%.

Of the 43 lots offered, 31 sold in the room while five sold prior. Acuitus auctioneer Richard Auterac commented: “The strength and depth of buyer demand was clearly evident in the room. Eleven lots sold for more than £1m and there was demand for assets across all property types throughout the UK and for all lot sizes.

“The notable successes of the sale included substantial office investments in Woking, Slough and Newbury. Seasoned investors with asset management expertise were out in force in the auction room. Working with our selling clients our careful attention to pricing and the provision of key information during the marketing period encouraged our serious buyers to see the potential for assets that have medium term potential for capital growth.”

The highest price of the sale was achieved by the ground rent investment in the 104,000-sq ft Sentinel House in Norwich. Currently occupied by Aviva Life & Pensions and producing £100,000pa the investment was sold for £2.45m at a yield of 3.8%.

A 1,682-sq ft shop in Heath Street, Hampstead which had not been on the market for 50 years sold for £1.04m. It currently produces income of £23,716pa and has three upper floors which may be suitable for residential conversion.


Other sales included:

  • 29 Market Square, St Neots: a retail investment let to Scope with a break in four years sold for £349,000 at a yield of 7.11%
  • Stephenson Road, Southend: freehold Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant let until 2031 at a current rent of £75,000pa sold for £1.265m at a yield of 5.6%
  • Abbey Meads Village Centre, Swindon: 5,083-sq ft neighbourhood shopping centre let to tenants including Tesco and producing £107,200pa sold for £1.2m at a yield of 8.44%
  • 6A Jupps Yard, Hampton Wick: a 5,993-sq ft office investment currently producing income of £143,887pa sold for £1.61m; a capital value of £270 per sq ft
  • Wansford, Peterborough: freehold BP Service Station let to Snax 24 until 2034 and currently producing £70,299pa sold for £810,000 at a yield of 8.2%

Peter Cunliffe, joint auctioneer, commented: “We have some heavyweight buyers who follow our auctions and they have sensed that there has been a turning point in the market. Sellers should seriously consider capitalising on this fresh level of demand”.

Acuitus is now taking sale instructions for its second auction of the year which will take place on March 21st at the Millennium Hotel, London W1.