The auction market bounced back in May and made gains of 7.5% and 5.8% in lots offered and lots sold respectively. The overall amount raised fell slightly, down 2% to £507m, but this was largely caused by a fall in commercial revenues.
The residential auction sector performed particularly strongly in May, with a 10% rise in lots offered (2,560 to 2,806) and a 6% rise in lots sold (1,945 to 2,070). Residential revenues increased 5.4%, to £357m, which is a welcome return following the 12% losses seen in April.
It was a very busy month for the commercial market, as every major commercial auction house held an auction in May. Overall the market fared reasonably well, as despite a marginal fall in lots offered (down 0.8% to 634 lots), the volume of sales increased – up 3.4% to 493 lots. As has been the case for the last 6 months, the amount raised from commercial sales contracted and was down 16% to £150m (£179m in May 2017) – a trend which indicates a shift in the lot sizes being put under the hammer.
On the residential front, Allsop’s 31st May auction raised more than £67m with a 73% success rate on the day, despite growing investor caution. Post-auction sales pushed the total to £67.4m with an overall 75% success rate. Over 300 properties were on sale, making it one of the largest auctions of the year. Buy-to-let investors, hit with both tapering tax relief and the stamp duty surcharge, showed caution on the day.