Coming back into the office in the first week of January there was an air of excitement about the possibilities and opportunities that might lie ahead in 2019. We had just over three weeks until the catalogue release date for February’s auction and whilst we didn’t gain any more clarity on Brexit over Christmas, the general opinion from buyers, sellers and colleagues seemed to be the same; business as usual. A couple of weeks into January, the initial signs of delivering a strong catalogue with a wide variety of stock were encouraging. The team seemed busy, the phones were ringing and as instructions on the database started to fill up, as did the mileage for the surveyors. The pressure was on to kick the year off with a positive result; injecting some confidence into the market would surely allow us to reap the benefits for the remainder of the year.
As print deadline approaches you can certainly feel the stress levels in the office crank up a notch. The team were on the phone to clients to see if there’s anything further we can appraise and trying to agree any last-minute lots. Others were out on the road; 15 inspections in a day is the norm for some of our surveyors, with many knowing they will still have to write up the particulars later that night.
We released the catalogue on the final weekend of January, featuring over 290 lots with values ranging from ‘no reserve’ to £4.75m+. We were pleased with what we’d put together but the hard work was about to begin; we had to find buyers for the stock and maximise the exposure on each and every lot!
The moment we arrived in the office on the first Monday of the marketing period our phones were ringing off the hook. It’s important these calls are all dealt with, ensuring every potential buyer has all of the information they require. We also approached potential buyers who are known to us or have purchased investments from us in similar locations, price brackets or type of stock.
Despite the political backdrop, we still felt positive going into the auction, our marketing period had progressed nicely. A couple of high value lots sold prior to auction day and we had some encouraging figures on the number of legal document downloads, whilst high online viewing numbers indicated strong interest across a range of assets.
It was an early start on the morning of the auction, and as always, loose ends needed tying up before the big event. The team were rattling around the hotel and it was fascinating to see the room fill up with all sorts of buyers and sellers; some attend each auction whilst others were hugely nervous first timers. We had a number of very popular lots, causing fierce bidding with some excellent results being achieved. As always, the pricing was absolutely key, although there was undoubtedly some negativity in the market, the lots which were priced sensibly proved very popular. Nothing summed this up more than the first lot of the day; a one bedroom flat in Northwood with a guide price of £150,000. The bidding was frenetic and we achieved £260,000. This was the first of 208 lots sold on the day. As the final few contracts were being signed the team headed off for a well-deserved drink!
As I arrived in the office the following morning, one of the buyers called me, ‘‘£55m total and 75% success rate, not bad for a day’s work”. I raised my eyebrows knowing how much effort and hard work had gone into the previous six weeks leading up to the auction. We were delighted with the result; with all the uncertainty surrounding the unmentionable ‘B’ word the total raised seemed to buck the market trend. We look forward to March!
Notes to editor
Allsop run the largest property auction departments in Europe through two highly experienced residential and commercial teams and is the UK’s number one auction house by transactions. We offer a wide range of lots covering residential vacant and investment properties, ground rents, land and development opportunities and secondary commercial lots. A minimum of six commercial and seven residential sales are held every year. Visit: http://www.allsop.co.uk/our-services/auctions/selling-at-auction/
If you would like to get in touch with Will, please contact him:
firstname.lastname@example.org or +44 (0)20 7344 2615