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Under the hammer! Auctioneer reports 10% sales boost

Auction House UK has reported a 10% annual rise in sales under the hammer despite the challenging market.

The brand said its success rate has also remained steady at 80% for the year to date, with the total money raised for clients standing at more than £534m - up on the £520m raised at this stage last year.

It comes as Auction House managing director Jeremy Prior suggests there is nervousness in the market due to increasing mortgage rates.


He said: “The Office for Budget Responsibility has said it expects housing activity to slow over the next two years, and the Chancellor announced in his Autumn Statement that the Stamp Duty cuts introduced by his predecessor are going to be abolished by the end of March 2025. 

“Whilst disappointing, crucially it does mean that this support for the housing market will continue for another 28 months – at precisely the time when it needs it most.”

Prior predicted that the trajectory of the market will in part be down to managing the expectations of sellers. 

He said: “Vendor expectations on the value of their properties need to be realistic. They should be guided by the prices suggested by our team of knowledgeable experts based in over 40 regional offices around the UK, all of whom have their finger on the current pulse of local market conditions.

“However, the beauty of auctions, of course, means that the market will find its own level. Sellers will always set a reserve price - a safety threshold below which they are not prepared to drop. Then they can sit back and let the competitive environment of the auction room, driven by our talented and experienced auctioneers, work its magic.”

He said high interest rates can be something of a double-edged sword, adding: “At times like this, buy-to-let investors may be reassured by the fact that some of the increased fees can often be partly offset by higher rents, rising because demand is outstripping supply.

“Whatever the circumstances, the key thing to understand is that we are a solutions-based business. If current market conditions mean that you need to sell quickly, whether that’s tenanted stock, a commercial or residential property, auctions can often provide what the rest of the property sector can’t – namely speed and security.”

Meanwhile, online auctioneer My Auction, is set for its  busiest month in December after reporting a 77% increase in lot numbers compared with just two months ago.

It said the number of lots per auction has steadily increased throughout the second half of 2022.

Auction values have also subsequently increased in line with rising lot numbers with My Auction’s December lots combined worth around £3m.

This is the highest seen this year, followed closely by May’s auction which listed at more than £2m.

Stuart Collar-Brown, co-founder of My Auction, said: “Given such political turmoil, it’s natural that the interest in property auctions is growing. We saw this back in the crash of the 1990s and then again in 2008 when the last financial crisis happened. In such uncertain economic climates, auctions offer a very viable way to buy and sell property quickly and efficiently with far less stress than buying through traditional private treaty sales. 

“For the buyer its appeal is speed of sale, and the transparency and certainty of knowing that you can be in the property within 28 days. For the seller, it’s a quick and efficient way to unload property that could fall in value if a sale isn’t secured quickly.

“Property auctions provide a useful barometer of the property market, often offering an early steer of the direction the overall market is heading in. With base rates increasing, mortgage rates rising, not to mention the looming recession and cost of living crisis, it’s no surprise that traditional residential property sales are taking a hit. During a market downturn, property auctions offer everyone a sensible route to market and we expect interest to continue rising as we head into 2023.”


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