Commercial Auction Summer Review 2015
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Summer 2015 Commercial Overview & Auction Results

The strong market experienced throughout 2014 continued into our first sale of 2015. High demand, driven by low interest rates, enticed bidders to the room and encouraged competitive bidding, resulting in the average overage above reserve rising to 14% from 12% in December 2014. Grade A retail yields remained steady at 5.9% from 6.0% and Grade B retail yields moved down to 8.4% from an average of 8.6%. On the day we raised £36.6m with a success rate of 86%.

Our March auction produced a similarly strong result and included our largest lot sold under the hammer in 2015 to date at £5.02m. We saw a high number of new buyers; however it was the experienced purchasers who were most successful, appearing to look more closely at the regions for the right investments. Grade A yields remained firm from February at 6% and (on the day) £66m was raised reflecting a success rate of 86%. With sales after, our Q1 results currently stand at £106,628,050.

The General Election result appeared to have been well received with our May sale raising in excess of £66m on the day, at what was another well-attended auction. The most in demand lots were those which benefitted from strong location, covenant or value added opportunities. Our regular buyers survey showed 83% of buyers intended to buy again within the next 12 months. Interestingly we also saw a sharp rise in cash buyers with 69% relying on cash reserves, up from 65% in March, possibly partly due to recent pension reforms? Grade A yields remained broadly static at 6.1% (6% in March).

The final auction before the summer break took place in July and was the largest of the year held to date, raising £82.3m and reflecting a success rate of 84% on the day. This has since risen to £97m and 92% with sales after. The room was again well attended, and competitive bidding saw the average overage above reserve rising to 21% against a 3 year average of 18%. With prime assets in scarce supply, purchasers demonstrated their willingness to bid with enthusiasm and were clearly prepared to move further away from the South East. Grade B retail yields resultantly hardened to 8.3% (from 8.5% in May). As we are approaching the end of the 3rd quarter our results including sales after now stand at £274.1m with two auctions still to go.