A major property auction in Birmingham has been hailed a triumph after more than £6.5million was realised and almost 65 per cent of the lots were sold.
Bigwood incorporating Bond Wolfe’s auction – the biggest outside London– saw scores of residential and commercial properties in Birmingham and the Black Country go under the hammer at Villa Park.
Bigwood director Jonathan Hackett said: “This was a triumph. There was a real competitive buzz going around and it felt like we were getting back to the old days.
“As well as the auction we sold both prior and post-event – in fact we are continuing to sell several days after the event.
“This sale has shown there are plenty of buyers out there for the auction market, as opposed to the private treaty sector, which is moribund because it requires high gearing.
“We think that the further recent fall in interest rates helped us. Investors with large deposits in the bank can’t see any point in keeping money there.
“The main point, however, is that we insist on vendors setting a realistic guide price.
“We know this is likely to stimulate greater competitive interest – so in the end more people will be there to bid.
“The trend in the Midlands has been for auctions to achieve only around 40 per cent of their portfolio because guide prices generally have been too high.
“Another firm’s sales last week sold £3million of property – representing less than 50 per cent of its portfolio.”
As an example, Mr Hackett mentioned 166 Park Hill Road, Harborne, a substantial three-bedroom, mid-terraced investment property currently leased in a protected tenancy yielding £4,056 a year.
He said: “Properties in this road were fetching in excess of £350,000 last year and our guide price was £140,000. It raised £170,000.
“Another attractive proposition sold on behalf of Bournville Village Trust in Selly Oak Road was a three-bedroom semi-detached property with vacant possession. It achieved its guide price of £155,000. A vacant freehold three bedroom mid-terraced house in Dawlish Road, Selly Oak was offered with a guide price of £99,000.
“Close to the university and with great potential as a student let, it achieved £108,000.”
In Wolverhampton, a property at 35 Alexandra Road had a guide price of £85,000 and achieved £115,000.
A large number of potential development sites were sold, with joint head of auctions Ron Darlington singling out the sale of a former public house which has planning permission for residential redevelopment, which sold for £103,000.
He said this type of lot would probably not have sold in previous auctions, indicating a recovery in the market for development opportunities.
The auction offered more than 100 lots including properties from Birmingham, Stoke-on-Trent and Wolverhampton City Councils, plus other institutions such as Bournville Village Trust and Tesco.
Bigwood’s next auction is scheduled for February 2009 for which entries are now being invited.