Demand from commercial investors drives strong July auction

Warren Lewis
18th July 2017
Auction 99
"With the General Election behind us, investors returned to the auction room with renewed vigour and optimism"

Allsop’s busiest commercial auction room this year has raised a total of £83.5m, driven by investor demand for larger lots and well-let retail assets. 84% of the lots sold.

In the first auction since the UK General Election, investors turned out in high numbers, bidding also on the phone and internet to compete for prize lots. Despite, or possibly because of uncertainty in other financial markets, investors remained positive. The highest value lots were among the strongest performers with 23 lots selling for £1m and above.
St Peters House, a 22,089 sq. ft. office building in St Albans city centre, sold under the hammer at £7.1m almost £1.4m ahead of expectations. The sale is Allsop’s largest commercial lot sold in the auction room since February 2016. Demand for lot 100 was strong, with bidding from a number of different sectors of the market. The ‘multi-channel’ ballroom auction even allowed the underbidder to compete online from a beach in Mauritius.

Demand in the auction room for retail assets in London remained consistent with lot 10, a WH Smith in East Ham selling at £2.26m, (4.65% net) and lot 93, a shop with ground rents, let to Holland and Barrett on Earls Court Road, SW5, selling at £2.24m (5% net).
Outside of the capital, well-let investments performed well; two separate lots both let to Iceland until 2029 attracted a good deal of interest, indicative of investor appetite for assets with strong tenants and long leases. Lot 15, in High Street Huntingdon sold at £1.665m, 5.3% net and lot 20 in a busy Derby suburb, selling at £1.21m, 5.54%.

A regional retail portfolio of 23 high street assets, mostly let to New Look on shorter leases, sold for a total £4.54m - 20% ahead of expectations. This included lot 170 in Monmouth town centre opposite M&S, selling at £425,000 (6.5% net).

George Walker, Auctioneer and Partner at Allsop, commented: “With the General Election behind us, investors returned to the auction room with renewed vigour and optimism.

Investors continued to seek high-value, high-quality, better-let assets, with competition for the larger lots in good locations very much in evidence, making our July sale one of the more successful auctions so far.”

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