While most of the property market came to a standstill during lockdown, many auction houses were still very much open for business.
Property investors were able to pick up some bargains as many auctioneers decided to make the transition from auction room to internet.
PROPERTIES SOLD VIA LIVE-STREAM AND ONLINE AUCTIONS
Savills estate agents managed to sell £18.5 million worth of property via its online auctions last month.
Meanwhile, despite lockdown restrictions, the country’s largest auction firm, Auction House was able to list and sell hundreds of properties via live-stream and online auctions.
In April, the firm offered 342 lots and sold 220 of them. That’s a success rate of 64.3%. For property sellers, these positive sales raised a total of £20.7 million.
Auction House reported that during lockdown, it was still able to achieve over 60% of its normal level of sales. They described experiencing strong bidding numbers and competition with some lots attracting over 100 bids and going on to achieve excellent sale prices.
Roger Lake, Auction House founding director, said, “Whilst there has been a reduction in entry numbers as some private sellers hold back, our core supply of listings is continuing, and regular auction buyers are still very active. Our regional auction teams have first-hand knowledge of properties in their area, we have a database of capable, cash-ready buyers, and we are delivering a high volume of sales through competitive bidding.”
HOW ONLINE AUCTIONS WORK
Auction houses have made use of remote bidding systems and can take bids by telephone, proxy, or via the internet during an online auction. They’ve also taken full advantage of social media, hosting live Facebook events as well as marketing properties using video tours and virtual viewings.
Bidders can pre-register with all their information as they normally would and look at a catalogue beforehand. Then they can log on and watch a live stream of an auctioneer calling out the lots. A bidder can indicate their intention to bid online or by phone.
MORE ONLINE AUCTIONS IN FUTURE
Although many restrictions have now been lifted and auction houses are starting to resume full appraisals and viewing services, the online success story is set to continue.
Allsop Residential held two popular online auctions in lockdown. The firm’s residential auction team managed to sell 81% of all lots offered, and post-sale transactions are proceeding fast.
That makes an impressive £140m raised by the company from its switch to online offerings.
Allsop auctioneer Gary Murphy, commented: “Our transition from in room sales has been remarkably smooth. This second sale was particularly well received. With 14 lots sold prior and over 1200 pre-registered bidders for the 160 lots to be offered on the day, the auction was looking extremely promising. Bidding opened at 8.00am and closed at 9.30 that evening. Some 6000 online bids were made in total during the day.”
Interestingly, Gary Murphy noted: “Bidders are very comfortable with this ‘new normal’. Despite the lack of access, competition was exceptionally keen. Prices are holding up well with little perceptible change now since pre-lockdown.”
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