King Sturge has followed up the success of its industrious auction in July with a sale rate of 89% at an auction which saw the return of speculative developers.

The sale held at London’s Le Meridien on Wednesday, saw the amount raised drop significantly from its last total of £42m at its receivership sale, to £4.18m – although this figure was an increase on the £2.5m raised at its 1 July sale for Severn Trent.

Its catalogue was dominated by lots from Thames Water – all of which were sold on average at double the guide price.

‘Thames Water was our key client in this sale, and we got them a 100% sale rate,’ said Felix Rigg, partner and auctioneer at King Sturge.

‘It all went according to plan; we had a tremendous start with the sale of Buscot Mill and the sale rate shows that there is still life in the market yet for well priced property of all types – even if they are un-fundable.’

Stand-out lots included lot 8, Buscot Mill, land on Brandy Island on the Thames in Oxfordshire, which drew keen interest before the sale and went on to sell well above its guide price of £150,000 at £380,000.

Another was lot 28, Brent House Farm near Harlow in Essex which was the biggest lot of the day, selling at £660,000.

Simon Bailey, auctioneer at King Sturge, said that the sale saw the return of small-scale speculative developers to the room who bought up swathes of land without planning consent.

‘We saw some traders taking a punt, locals looking to buy adjacent property, and also some familiar faces from speculative developers. It is tough to value land that has no planning consent on it – so an auction is the best way to expose its worth.’