Review of 2019
“The year started on a high with a £12.4m lot, finished on a high with 92% success rate in December and our market share improved from 55% to 59%”
We started the year in the knowledge that it might be a tough one with a cloud of political uncertainty casting a shadow over capital markets.
However with low interest rates prevailing and GDP positive at 2% per annum the fundamental reasons for investing in high yielding real estate remained strong.
Looking back on the year, with 648 properties sold, we must remember that we started the year selling the largest ever lot sold under our hammer at £12.4m, in Covent Garden in February and ended it with one of the strongest sales for three years in December, where we sold one of the biggest assets of the year in Pitsea at £4.56m.
Our politicians in Westminster fed the now well-documented tide of uncertainty but these ongoing political clouds were popped spectacularly on Friday 13th December and it was as if the buyers in our auction on 9th December already had the result. The total is now £49m, the success rate of 92% is ahead of any sale and for the last three years which reflects the busy auction room on the day bringing our total for the year to, in excess of £433m.
The wider private treaty market looks to have dropped in turnover by well over 30% year on year, which is twice the reduction of the auction market.
Buyers’ resilience and long term view has been the recurring theme of the year, it is the buyers’ pragmatism, and their cheque books that drive this market. Discussing things with them in the auction room three days before perhaps “the most important General Election for a generation” was uplifting as the sale result and eventual Election outcome both proved.
Politics aside, the market has had to continue to absorb the changing face of retail which has led to the increasing disparity of yields in retail, which we review later on.
This drives investor demand for added value opportunities, mixed use assets, long income and the Alternative sector which typically has longer leases on offer, there seems to be plentiful demand, supply is the challenge.
Alongside reading the market, we have enhanced the way we market properties for clients, a new website, hard copy catalogue and the launch of our mobile app, which allows you the chance to have a catalogue in your pocket at all times.
We would like to thank everyone we work with for your feedback during this period, and patience as we all adapted to the necessary changes.
As marketeers we are now able to analyse huge volumes of data, track bidders, under bidders and buyers, which allows us to better understand the market in real time. For those that are interested we are always happy to share these results.
Put simply, by the end of July we had more regular users on phones and tablets than their desktops. If anyone has any insight as to why in October both the Netherlands and Finland suddenly became interested in UK based real estate, we would be delighted to know!
At this point we will leave it to you to review some of the examples and pricing that we have set out later on and we hope that they give suitable insight into the years’ trading. There are of course over 600 other examples which we can draw on to help you with any analysis, so please do ask the team if this would help you form your investment or disposal strategy going forward.