Final 2017 auction takes Acuitus past £300m

8th December 2017

The final Acuitus auction of the year saw the sale of 79% of the investments offered and realised £42m. The firm has now sold more than £300m of assets during 2017 – its second largest annual total.

Acuitus Chairman, Richard Auterac, commented: “Coming into this year – after the economic and political turbulence of 2016 – it was very hard to call how our market would fare. In the event, we have substantially broadened our seller base and been able to bring to auction the type of assets which meet the needs of the growing numbers of private investors targeting the commercial property sector.

“Our final 2017 auction illustrated this with the sale of investments across all property sectors and throughout the UK.”

Prices achieved at the sale ranged from under £100,000 and to over £4m with more than a quarter of the lots selling for £1m or more. The highest price achieved in the room was £4.35m for a prime retail freehold parade in Cheltenham while a bank investment in London’s Streatham sold for £1.04m at a yield of 4.54%.

The strengthening of the foodstore sector and the better trading performance of its major operators continues to be reflected in demand for supermarket investments. A 4,768 sq ft Sainsbury’s convenience store in Broxbourne which is let until 2030 with a tenant break in 2025 at a current rent of £70,000 sold for £1.25m at a yield of 5.29%.

Looking ahead to next year, Richard Auterac commented: “We are now entering a new phase of our market. The period when the supply of assets into the auction room was dominated by the work-out of distressed loan books has reduced substantially and is being replaced by a more sustainable investment market.

“We have increased the number of our selling clients by around 20% this year including some major US funds and that is giving a much more stable base to the supply of assets coming into the room. There continues to be sustained investor demand so the prospects for 2018 are positive.

“However, the ability to connect with the expanding constituency of buyers in the room and through digital communication will be of paramount importance in the auction process. Accordingly, Acuitus continues to invest in new online marketing channels and digital functionality which meets the needs of our current and future investors.”

Other sales in the December auction included:

  • Lichfield:  a purpose-built Costa drive-thru which produces current annual income of £58,000 sold for £1.15m at a yield of 4.76%
  • Northallerton: a 4,532 sq ft bank let to Barclays Bank plc until 2022 at a current annual rent of £90,000 sold for £ 1.51m at a yield of 5.62%
  • Handsworth, Birmingham: the 15,050 sq ft multi-let Raleigh Industrial Estate which produces current annual income of £87,808 sold for £1.25m at a yield of 6.58%
  • Blandford Forum: a 3,040 sq ft Job Centre currently producing annual income of £47,500 sold for £770,000 at a yield of 5.85%
  • Liverpool: a highly reversionary freehold retail ground rent investment at 59-61 Church Street and 1-3 Parker Street currently producing annual rent of £4,425 sold for £1.5m at a yield of 0.28%

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Acuitus will be holding six auctions in 2018 with the first taking place on Thursday, February 14th.