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Auction House reveals record month and says agent sales 'won't deliver'

Auction House has reported a record number of sales for September, while its founder claims private treaty sales 'won't be able to deliver' before 2020.

The UK's largest auctioneer sold a record 531 lots during September - the highest ever recorded in the firm's 12-year history.

The sales were achieved from 688 lots, a success rate of 77%, and raised a total just shy of £55 million.


"We do detect urgency in the market and more private instructions are entering our catalogues," says Roger Lake, Auction House's founding director.

He argues that selling through an agent is a 'lengthy' and 'uncertain' process.

"My message to sellers is if you want or need to sell and complete this calendar year then you will have to choose auction because private treaty simply won’t be able to deliver," says Lake.


The firm says that the 'distraction' of Brexit hasn't curtailed its performance. Auction House held 25 events last month across England, Scotland and Wales, with reports of plenty of 'competitive bidding'.

At the end of Q3, the firm had sold 2,796 lots from 3,623 offered in 2019, up by over 8% year-on-year. Its typical success rate up to the end of Q3 was 77.2% with cumulative sales of over £320 million.

"Sellers in most parts of the country are anxious to sell sooner rather than later, and auction delivers faster results," Lake adds.

He says, however, that he expects the auction market to tighten, with a potential stock shortage as the end of the year approaches.

"Some sellers may decide to sit on their hands until the political situation in the country becomes clearer."

"We are in challenging times and can’t expect auctions to be completely exempt from the impact of Brexit," Lake concludes.


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