Allsop racked up a strong sale rate of 86% last Tuesday at its September residential sale which featured a slimmed catalogue.

The auction house, which has been hit by the fall in repossessions, raised £32m in one day instead of its usual two-day marathon sales which it continued in to July when it raised £40m.

Its catalogue of 201 lots was half the size it was the same time last year the 406 lots it offered this time last year as banks continue to hold back from selling repossessed property at auction.

Gary Murphy, auctioneer and partner at Allsop, said: "The level of repossession sales has been noticeably reduced in the post summer auction rooms as the market begins to show signs of recovery.

“I think however it's too soon to say whether this trend is unlikely to be reversed. We may see higher volumes of repossession sales over the next 12 months and this view is shared by some of our lender clients."

Murphy said that the most noticeable improvement in demand was for prime central London unmodernised vacant flats which he described as ‘insatiable’.

The best examples of this were lot 46, 39 Hyde Park Gate in Chelsea, which sold for £985,000, and lot 24, 2 Ormonde Gate, Kensington which sold for £815,000.

Land and buildings for redevelopment also showed signs of recovery.

This was illustrated by the sale of lot 88, a Grade II Listed manor house in 1.23 acres which was sold for the London Borough of Hillingdon for £1.3m, and lot 108, a small corner site in Holloway which was sold for £1.1m.

Sellers on the day included several property companies, four London boroughs, 10 housing associations, as well as receivers and banks.