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Online property auctions continue to thrive in lockdown climate

Posted in Property News on 14 Dec 2020

LIVE STREAM AUCTIONS ACHIEVE NEW HIGHS

In September 2020, property auction house, Bond Wolfe Auctions, reported outstanding results for its live-streamed auction. The online auction achieved a 95% success rate with 196 of the 207 lots offered being sold. It was the auction house’s second most successful sale, raising £18,779,150.

Auction House London also achieved a high success rate with its September sale, which generated an 83% success rate. It raised over £22 million with a listing of 107 lots for sale.

Meanwhile, residential auctioneer, iamsold increased its sales performance on the previous year with a rise in sales and online viewings from the start of June. Sales have grown by 20% and viewings by 22% since June 2019.

HOW THE CORONAVIRUS HAS CHANGED PROPERTY AUCTIONS

The coronavirus pandemic forced changes in how auctions are carried out. During lockdown, auction houses had no choice but to cancel events. However, they were able to continue to trade and sell properties online.

To capitalise on this, auction houses removed previous restrictions on bidding to allow anyone watching online to place a bid.

WHAT DO INDUSTRY INSIDERS SAY?

Auction House London director and auctioneer, Andrew Binstock, explained: “Before the pandemic, bidders could only bid by phone or proxy if they couldn’t attend the sale. But the restrictions meant we had to open proceedings to everyone watching via our live stream feed – which has actually suited our buyers and sellers. So even when we return to room sales again, the internet process will continue in tandem. To begin with, we saw livestream sales as an ideal compromise – maintaining the theatrical element of the event and allowing the auctioneer to adjust the pressure from the rostrum in real-time, to get the best results from buyers. The process is also proving less stressful for vendors. All buyers now need to be registered ahead of the day so the level of interest in a property is clear before it reaches the auction. There’s no question that buying and selling property on the internet is here to stay.”

Network Auctions director, Toby Limbrick, commented: “2020 has been a challenging year, but it has presented many opportunities for us in the auction sector. We’ve always been great believers in the effectiveness of auction as a sales method, and this year has cemented that success and attracted many new faces to the online room. 2021 looks set to build even further on this and we welcome the attention the sector is receiving from proptech companies. There’s some great ideas coming through the pipeline and we look forward to more people recognising the power of buying property online at auction.”

iamsold managing director, Jamie Cooke, said: “It’s really encouraging to see this spike in activity. Our estate agent partners are reporting activity levels between 50 to 100 per cent of pre-Covid-19 levels, and they are feeding back that market appraisals are on the rise so further growth is set to come. A significant trend is that those requesting market appraisals are what we would classify as non-discretionary sellers in the main, who need to sell and are not just testing the market.”

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