Last year, the residential market faced a number of challenges, including deepening unaffordability and significant political uncertainty on the back of strained Brexit negotiations and a General Election.
This has been compounded by the 3% stamp duty surcharge introduced in 2016 and tougher lending criteria hitting BTL investors with four or more properties. Despite this, Allsop’s residential team achieved a total only £7m lower than 2016. Across the UK commercial and residential sectors Allsop raised a total of £1.034bn, with an overall success rate of 82%.
In total 1,222 residential lots were sold with an average value of £348,000, compared to £356,000 in 2016. High value lots continued to remain popular in the auction room with 99 sales realising in excess of £1m.
Despite the political upheaval surrounding the April announcement of a snap General Election, May’s auction, which was the most successful of the year, raised a total of £74m and achieved a success rate of 86%, notably higher than in 2016 (80%).
However, the repercussions of growing political uncertainty in the wake of the election result were felt in July’s auction room. The first sale following June’s General Election raised a total of £52m and achieved a success rate of 76% - respectable, but one of the lowest of the year.
Confidence returned to the Allsop residential auction room in September with a £71m result and a success rate of 80% - £12m higher than in 2016 and topping all September residential sales figures on record. This was despite a backdrop of weak post-summer auction results elsewhere. It was a property in St. Ives in this auction that caught the imagination of the public and investors, selling for £1.44m from a guide price of £625,000+.
The weakening of sterling last year, a result of the UK’s decision to leave the EU, continued to spark demand from overseas investors and strengthened competition in the auction room. This is in line with recorded overseas interest in the Allsop online catalogue, which received more than one million visits from 194 territories globally, of which 48% were new visitors.