July auction takes post-lockdown sales to £30m+

10th July 2020

A former M&S store in Stockton-on-Tees sold for nearly double its guide price as Acuitus raised £9m from the sale of 95% of the lots offered at its July live-streamed auction.

The prominent 35,898 sq ft High Street property was guided at £300,000 but eventually sold for £555,000 after a prolonged round of online and telephone bidding.
Acuitus Chairman, Richard Auterac, commented: “The drive to repurpose large parts of the UK’s High Streets is gathering momentum and investors are now looking at a range of alternative uses for properties which have a substantial in-town footprint”.

Two other lots that offer potential for repurposing – a 36,718 sq ft office building on Sunderland Enterprise Park and an industrial unit of 30,650 sq ft on 1.1 acres in Colchester – also sold in excess of their guide prices.

The auction saw the sale of a number of High Street properties across the UK including Swansea, Falmouth and a shopping centre in Bishops Stortford. The keenest yield of 5.5% was achieved by a retail and residential investment on Chiswick High Road in London. The property currently produces and annual income of £81,900 and comprises a ground floor shop let to an independent trader together with two flats on the upper floors which are let on assured shorthold tenancies.

Auctioneer, David Margolis, commented: ‘’This lot offered an investor the opportunity to invest in an affordable property in one of West London’s premier High Streets. The sale demonstrated that there is still a keen appetite for correctly priced quality assets in such locations’’.

Commenting on the fact that around a third of the 30 lots originally offered sold on the auction contract prior to the auction day, Richard Auterac said: “This illustrates both continued investor demand and also the number of sellers who are attracted by the speed of completion offered by the auction contract.

“Owners who have decided to sell want certainty and this is difficult to achieve without using an auction contract. At a time when so much can change politically and economically in a matter of hours, the twist and turns of a ‘subject to contract’ negotiation can often take months not days and mean that a final deal – if it happens at all – could be very much different from what was originally agreed”.

The July auction brought the total of sales that Acuitus has achieved since the lockdown began to more than £30m.

The next Acuitus auction of 2020 will take place on September 23rd.