Going, going, gone: the rise of property auctions


2023 marked a turbulent year for the UK property market as soaring mortgage rates and a lingering cost of living crisis squeezed household budgets.

With a lack of confidence and uncertainty being felt across the UK, a growing number of people turned to the auction room to seek a faster and more secure way of buying and selling property.

As auction market revenue hit the highest annual rate in the last decade, with an 11.3% surge in the number of auction sales in the past year, property auctioneers Auction House revealed their own record-breaking results for 2023. 

The nationwide auction group raised a staggering £641 million in property sales last year, with a year-over-year increase in lots offered, lots sold, and total raised.

Auction House offered 6,622 properties for sale (compared to 4,950 in 2022), marking a significant 34% increase from the previous year. The group successfully sold 4,841 properties, surpassing their sales from 2022 by an impressive margin of 22%.

Jeremy Prior, Managing Director of Auction House, commented: “Despite the gloom and doom surrounding the property market and the general economy, Auction House continue to produce some impressive results.”

“Given the very difficult current market conditions the Auction House family are demonstrating to our clients exactly how good we are – our mantra of local knowledge, regional expertise and national coverage has never sounded so true.”

He continued: “There is no doubt that intimate local knowledge is enabling us to value properties correctly and competitively, which is reflected in our results and continues to set us apart from our competitors.”

With a goal to make it ‘quicker and easier for everyone to buy and sell property’ Auction House have transitioned their auctions online – hosting regional livestream auctions and weekly national timed auctions.

The auction group revealed an incredible £61.2 million was raised exclusively through timed online auctions last year, with a remarkable £7.1 million raised in November alone.

Lewis Hamilton, Corporate Sales Manager for Auction House, commented: “The auction process is more convenient and accessible than ever before. The success of our unconditional timed auctions has continued to sky-rocket, and a big development for us in 2024 is offering weekly timed conditional auctions.”

He continued: “Conditional auctions give buyers 56 days to complete the process and in turn, a longer timeframe to secure mortgages. It’s still quicker than the private treaty route and we’re confident that this new offering will open the doors for more people to explore auctions as an option.”

Once considered an avenue solely for experienced investors, auction houses have witnessed a notable increase in buyers seeking residential properties, including individuals looking to take their first steps on the property ladder.

As the housing market continues to experience turbulence with limited stock but high demand, the reliability and assurance of property auctions are only fuelling their popularity – and this trend shows no signs of slowing down as we head into the new year.

If you're interested in learning more about buying and selling property at auction, contact our expert local team in your area to get your questions answered.

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