UK residential auction house Allsop posted a £61m sales total at its 27 March sale as 90% of lots offered attracted stiff competition.
A 1,000 strong crowd filled The Cumberland Hotel to bid, although many left disappointed and slightly stunned by the prices achieved.“The buoyancy of the London market has been widely reported” said auctioneer Gary Murphy, “but yesterday’s experience indicates that there is a noticeable ripple effect from the capital. Our regional buyers had to fight hard to win stock.”
Larger lots have become far more prevalent of late at Allsop’s sales. A mixed use building in Bell Street, Marylebone (Lot 41) sold prior to auction in excess of its £5m guide after competition, a Grade II Listed 4,000 sq ft town house in Queen Anne Street, Marylebone (Lot 30) raised £4.8m following an unsuccessful private treaty campaign and a 6,300 sq ft office building in Bromley with planning permission for conversion to nine flats (Lot 195) was sold on behalf of receivers for £1.61m.
Owner occupier buyers with cash to spend (or access to it) attended for a broad selection of vacant homes in a variety of areas and price ranges. A small unmodernised studio unit in Alderney Street, Pimlico (Lot 72) drew gasps as it was knocked down for £505,000 and a first floor three bedroom 1,020 sq ft apartment in St Olaves Court, Bayswater left many bidders struggling as it sold for £1.46m.
“Looking out at the crowd it’s clear that the range of buyers is strengthening” said Murphy. “We are seeing investors and traders return from the north of England to our rooms, builders and smaller developers local to the lots offered are out looking for development or refurbishment opportunities, and the diversities of ages and cultures of bidders is noticeably broader than it has ever been. There is no longer a “typical” auction purchaser”.
Auctioneer Richard Adamson commented “Allsop’s market reach is truly global. Our mailing list on line now exceeds 220,000 worldwide. Our sale attracted buyers from the US, Hong Kong, China, Australia, France, Guernsey, Ireland, India, Pakistan, Lebanon, Vietnam and Kuwait.”
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