Who would have guessed that more than a year after we were plunged into lockdown that the auction market would prove to be one of the most resilient parts of the property sector?

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Call me a cynic, but when the country was turned on its head last March and we were banished to our homes, I thought that as pubs, restaurants and retailers closed across the country, so too would auction houses. Without the cut and thrust of physical ballroom sales and frenzied bidding wars, surely they couldn’t continue to operate. Boy, was I wrong.

Auction houses have immersed themselves in the online world and many have recorded better success rates during the pandemic than they did pre-Covid. They have been aided and abetted by the arrival of a host of new assets being offered at auction, including shopping centres.

But the success of online auctions over the last 12 months raises several big questions, which some of the UK’s leading auctioneers attempt to answer in this guide. Is this the new normal? What assets will buyers be looking for this year? Will we ever get back to the ballroom? Find out what the future holds in the next few pages.

Jessica Newman is Property Week’s deputy news editor and auction correspondent

Auction market has proved its resilience