2014 was the most successful year in the history of Allsop Residential Auctions. The firm held seven major UK residential auction sales in 2014. In total £421m was raised, a significant 25% uplift on the previous year (£336m). Overall, 85% of all lots offered were successfully sold (the average industry success rate was 74%). The quantity of lots sold was virtually unchanged - 1,554 in 2014 from 1,555 in 2013.
In total, the firm has raised £945m from commercial and residential UK auction sales, up 31% on 2013 (£718m). Including sales in Dublin, the total value of real estate sold via the auction process was £1.153bn (48% up on 2013’s £777m total).
The first nine months of 2014 saw exceptional house price growth, particularly in central London. Q4, however, saw the rate of growth in all regions except the North of England subside.* Buyers continue to seek better value for money in the regions.
Owner occupiers have been assisted by the Government’s Help to Buy loan incentive scheme and low interest rates. Investors have benefitted from improved tenant demand and rising rents. An inflationary climate has provided rich pickings for traders, particularly those working the private treaty market for onward sale in the auction rooms. Developers have been keen to compete for new build and conversion opportunities presented by, for example, land sales by the public sector or former office buildings with permitted development rights for residential use.
2015 is likely to be affected by some uncertainty prior to the general election in May. Auctioneers will need to read the signs with care and insight in order to advise prudently on reserve prices. Those who do not will experience falling success rates.
* Source: Nationwide House Price Index Q4 2014