Sustained buying as May auction raises £27.89m

24th May 2019

Sustained buying by private property companies and high net-worth individuals saw Acuitus sell 80% of the lots at its May auction and raise £27.89m.

Auctioneer, Richard Auterac, commented: “There’s a steady flow of new investors – many high net-worth individuals – who are increasingly turning to property auctions as a preferred investment channel because of its simplicity, speed and certainty.

“They target investments that are well-let on realistic rents in areas with demographic strength. Today’s sale saw concerted buying for lots in locations such as Henley, Thirsk, Wells and Salisbury as well as Greater London locations.”

As with Acuitus’s previous auction in March, larger assets were again in demand. The highest price paid in the room was £3.4m for a freehold supermarket in London’s Clapham which is let to Amazon subsidiary, Wholefoods, until 2030. The investment at 303-311 Lavender Hill currently produces annual income of £229,000, and its sale reflected a yield of 6.33%.

Another London freehold shop investment on Kensington High Street where the tenants include Starbucks sold for £1.75m at a yield of 6.11%.

There was also strong interest in investments north of the border. All the Scottish lots offered sold including a Travelodge hotel in Dundee which sold for £1.88m at a yield of 5.65%. The 24-unit Westwood Square shopping centre in East Kilbride was sold for £1m.

Mhairi Jarvis of Acuitus Scotland commented: “This is a 1970s centre which is let to a broad base of mostly local traders and  convenience-orientated retailers together with F&B operators producing annual income of £195,000. The centre’s place in the community and the fact that the income is not overly reliant on any particular occupier makes it an interesting asset management proposition”.

Elsewhere in the sale, a 2,222 sq ft shop in Bell Street, Henley let to FatFace at a current rent of £50,000 sold for £820,000 at a yield of 5.71% while a coffee store in Wells producing income of £58,000 sold for £770,000 at a yield of 7.14%.

Richard Auterac: “There is a tremendous selling opportunity at present. Demand is strong and new investors continue to enter the market. We have sold close on 100 investments so far this year and demand continues to outstrip supply”.

The next Acuitus auction will take place on July 11th at The Montcalm Hotel, 2 Wallenberg Place, London W1H 7TN.