The first lot sold in lockdown in the March sale was a long lease to Boots in Halstead, Essex, three buyers competed for it and the price settled at 4.5%, £730,000. The second was also let to Boots on a shorter lease but sold at 5.2%, £592,000 which was a strong start to our digital auction process and the market has not looked back since.
The highlight of the May auction was a lesson in the appeal of Government income and alternative use value with a Job Centre in Tottenham, London which sold within a few days of release ahead of the guide price of £6.5m, and at a yield of 4.75% - the biggest lot sold to date, marketed jointly with our private client team.
We held the first June auction for 20 years, allowing our clients to take advantage of more regular sales which have now become the norm as we no longer have to allow for postage delays and selecting dates for London hotels. The largest lot in the £29.4m sale was a long let bank in Derby achieving £2.1m for a fund.
The July auction saw a test of the appeal of London as we went to market with one of the biggest lots of the year at 37 Berwick Street, Soho, London W1. Due diligence was done by 21 parties including many from overseas which drove the price ahead of the guide of £3.25/£3.5m showing the continued appeal of Central London to private investors.
Another test was a portfolio of multi let industrial assets offered by a single vendor. Within the space of the three week marketing period, the seven assets sold at £9.94m which was within a whisker of their pre-Covid valuation in March.
The results of the auctions show a total of £246m year to date, only 19% down from the equivalent period last year against the wider sub £10m market where volumes have fallen by over 75%.