Despite the turbulent state of the UK economy and the uncertainty within the UK property market over the past few years.
Allsop has retained its status as the UK’s leading auction house. I strongly believe that adaptability and willingness to engage with our buyers and sellers lie at the heart of our success as a business, and if anything, the past few years have shown us the importance of adapting to circumstances and staying attuned to the needs of our community, both on the residential and commercial sides of the business.
In fact, flexibility has remained our mantra for years, and nowhere was Allsop’s commitment to agility more apparent than in our response to the challenges of the pandemic.
Covid turned things on their head and forced many real estate businesses to adapt to change in a matter of days, which we successfully demonstrated by switching to virtual auctions in March 2020. Now, Allsop is ready to re-introduce in-person residential auctions following extensive conversations with our buyers and sellers.
This decision hasn’t been taken lightly – virtual auctions have proven to be a reliable, efficient and convenient format for many within our community, and remain our buyers’ preferred channel on the commercial side. However, knowing that the vast majority of our residential property clients are eager to go back to the ballroom, partially to be able to better assess the uncertain market, we’ve decided to return to the multi-channel approach, which will enable residential property buyers to bid in the ballroom, virtually as well as over the phone.
Our first in-room sale of 2023 will take place on 11th May at The Berkeley Hotel in Knightsbridge, and we can’t wait to reconnect with our buyers and sellers, some of whom discovered property auctions during lockdown, having never experienced live ballroom sales before.
Despite not having a physical presence in the world of auctions for over three years, our two auction teams achieved strong results in 2022, unperturbed by Truss’ mini-budget, numerous interest rate hikes, the war in Ukraine and the cost of living crisis. Last year alone, we raised £920m from over 1,750 lots, all transacted online. Given how popular virtual auctions have been, and our desire to create the best possible experience for our buyer base, we’d like to keep them as an essential component of our offering, providing those based abroad or having difficulty getting to London with an opportunity to participate via our online platform or over the phone. It is likely that some of the residential auctions will remain online-only. In any event, our commercial auctions will remain online for the foreseeable future.
Some say that 2023 won’t be as turbulent as last year but many of the same challenges will remain. The Bank of England has just announced yet another interest rate hike, EPC regulation for landlords keeps tightening, urging owners to either dispose of or upgrade their properties at a significant cost. But the market keeps moving: the UK housing crisis shows no signs of abating, making rental property an ever scarcer and more valuable commodity, and the reassurance and income provided to investors by bricks-and-mortar is hard to beat during uncertain economic times.
We’re excited for our first in-room auction of the year, which will act as an investment sentiment barometer for the residential property market and look forward to once again experiencing the thrill of hearing the auction hammer fall in a room full of people after several years of silence.
By Richard Adamson, partner and auctioneer at Allsop