New “consensus” drives buying at March auction

22nd March 2013

Signs of a growing consensus between buyers and sellers saw Acuitus’s second auction of 2013 raise £17.3m which took the firm’s total sales for Q1 to over £46.5m at a sale rate of 82%.

Acuitus auctioneer Richard Auterac commented: “Investor demand has definitely improved: our sales level for the first quarter of this year is up 33% on the corresponding period in 2012. Pricing remains very sensitive, but there is clearly now more general consensus between buyers and sellers.

“Perhaps the most positive message from this sale was the wide variety of investments that sold and the substantial average lot sale price which was around £900,000.”

In the latest auction, a freehold leisure investment occupied by LA Fitness in Formby near Liverpool (pictured) achieved the highest price in the room. Let until 2038 at a current rent of £190,753pax, the 15,670-sq ft property sold for £1.33m. London investments continue to remain popular. A 1,281-sq ft retail and residential investment at 59 Chapel Market, N1 sold for £775,000 at a yield of 6.9%.

The ground rent investment in a freehold retail parade at 125-131 Queensway in Milton Keynes that currently produces £18,000pax sold for £365,000 at a yield of 4.7%.

Other sales included:

  • St James Street, Burnley: a 4,283-sq ft freehold bank investment let to Santander and currently producing income of £57,630pax sold for £625,000 at a yield of 8.7%
  • Torwood Street, Torquay: a 21,103-sq ft freehold bar/restaurant/nightclub investment which had not been on the market for 20 years and currently produces £154,000pa sold for £950,000
  • Mornington Road, Bingley: a 1,494-sq ft neighbourhood convenience store let to Martin McColl and producing £23,000pax sold for £321,000 at yield of 6.8%

Richard Auterac commented: “We have made a solid start to the year and are encouraged by both the level of investor demand and, most crucially, the new and more positive attitude that is being shown towards property by banks and other providers of finance.

“This is setting a good platform for activity in the auction room during the remainder of the year. Sellers can have increasing confidence that putting properties into auction will attract competitive bidding”.

Acuitus is now taking sale instructions for its third auction of the year which will take place on May 23rd at The Dorchester Hotel, London W1.