The auctioneer’s art
PR I V A T E i n v e s t o r s dominated the buying at Acuitus’s latest auction, which raised £14.5 million. Acuitus auctioneer Richard Auterac says: “This auction painted a very vivid picture of the buying precision that private investors are bringing to the sector. Where lots fitted their criteria, there was sustained bidding which saw guide prices substantially exceeded in the energetic room.”
A Kwik-fit Centre at Staples Corner, London sold for £1.47 million at a yield of 5.2 per cent, while 15 Grape Street WC2, a 3,755 sq ft office building let to Cuba for its London consulate, sold for £1.4 million, at a yield of 5.5 per cent.
The auction showed demand for all sectors across a wide geographical spread, with buyers in the market for industrial and office assets as well as retail. “Where pricing is realistic — without being soft — investments sell,” says Mr Auterac. “This is constantly demonstrated by the lots offered on behalf of receivers and administrators and their bank clients, which sell well because they capture the correct approach to pricing for the assets involved.”
Vincent Van Gogh’s former residence sold at the Savills National auction. The house, with an English Heritage blue plaque saying that the artist lived there from 1873-1874, went for £565,000 after enthusiastic bidding. The auction notched up 88 per cent succ e s s a n d r a i s e d £35,740,450. Christopher Coleman-smith says: “Our first two auction sales of this year have probably been the strongest of any Londonbased auctioneer ever.” A studio flat investment in Marylebone sold for £111,000, proving you can still buy in London’s zone one at under £125,000.
Andrews and Robertson achieved £20 million at its February auction, which drew competitive bidding from a packed auction room and saw the return of familiar faces, as well as new bidders. Fresh-to-market local authority properties with potential for refurbishment or redevelopment were very popular. There was demand across the price spectrum; larger lots sold particularly well. Some 84 out of 131 lots sold on the day, a 65 per cent success, while post-sale demand was robust.
Five north London properties with development potential, offered on behalf of the London Borough of Enfield, caused a stir, resulting in a 100 per cent success rate. Each sold at well above guide price and way ahead of the best offers received prior to auction, demonstrating the powerful dynamic that can be created only in the room.
Proprietor Robin Cripp, A&R’S lead auctioneer, says: “There is definitely a market for correctly priced stock, wherever the location. Buyers, both local, national and overseas, are looking for a secure haven for their equity and those with the knowledge to assetmanage properties in regions as well as in the capital see that there is no better place in which to invest equity at present.”
Van Gogh’s south London house, sold by Savills for £565,000