The year began with the country bracing itself for a triple dip recession.
Despite this there was optimism in the investment market, with the FTSE rising quickly to an eventual high of 6,875. Our first sale of the year in February saw spirited bidding raising in excess of £40m, with 84% of the lots selling. March continued the theme with 79% of all lots sold and £52.8m raised. Well let investments attracted the most interest whilst correctly priced multi-let asset management intensive lots also created strong competitive bidding. Sales after have now lifted the Q1 results to £100.5m with 92% sold.
We launched our May sale against a backdrop of continuing HighStreet gloom with HMV, Jessops and Blockbuster all falling into Administration. Not surprisingly the economic news had an effect on our end of day result.
The success rate eased to 77%, with a total realisation of £55m. June brought some good economic news with the ONS revision confirming a triple dip recession was avoided. Moreover a double dip recession never occurred.
Although sentiment improved, the prospect of earlier than expected higher interest rates caused long term rates to drift upwards. The FTSE promptly fell to its lowest point of the year to date, (5,478 on 12 June), just before
the launch of our July catalogue. Fortunately the new Governor of the Bank of England, ruled out early rate rises, prompting a rally in the FTSE.
At our July sale there was a noticeable sharpening of yields for the better quality lots and more competitive bidding, with 61% of the lots offered selling above reserve. The end of day result was broadly in-line with our May sale with a success rate of 75% and £51.1m raised. In addition buyers reported an increase in the availability of debt which is helping to bring a degree of confidence back to the market.
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