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Disruption in agency industry will push more sales to auctioneers - claim

Auction House says it has maintained its number one industry ranking, selling 3,485 lots last year – four per cent up on 2016 and over 1,250 more than its nearest rival.

It’s the fourth year in a row that the group has passed the annual 3,000-lots sold milestone, offering 4,647 lots in 2017 with a 75 per cent sale rate, raising over £443m.

Auction House founding director Roger Lake says there is evidence that sale by auction is becoming more mainstream across most areas of the country.

“Our own results show that more of the ideal stock is now coming to auction, rather than being incorrectly offered by private treaty. The challenging housing market has also favoured auction, with the speed and certainty that it offers being chosen by more and more urgent sellers.

“Interestingly, our average sale price dipped as more lower price northern stock passed through our hands, but during the year we also proved that auction is a successful way to sell higher value prime properties with potential, with some sales in London, Dorset, Essex, Norfolk and Sussex exceeding £1m.”

Lake says 2018 presents “huge opportunities” for the auction sector as the wider agency industry faces continued disruption and buy to let seeks to “rebalance itself.”

“I see a need for service standards to be raised, property details to improve, and more transparency introduced as the buyer mix changes. As more private purchasers attend salerooms, processes need to be simple and straightforward, and more appropriate to a retail business rather than only playing to the trade. After all, if the popularity of auctions is growing, the commitment by those involved to simplify the process should proceed in parallel” he concludes.

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