Residential Property Auction Market Review 2022

During 2022 the residential property market continued the seemingly unstoppable growth that began post-Covid. It has only been towards the end of this year that anecdotal evidence suggests the market could be turning. In this report we will look at what has happened in the residential auctions market over the course of 2022.

What the auction data reveals

Official house price statistics from HM Land Registry do not seem to indicate a slowdown in the market, at least not yet. Annual house price rises have been circa 10% pa each month this year. They reached a record (for recent times) 15.5% annual rise in the summer and the latest figures show they rose 12.6% over the year to October.

Data from Essential Information Group suggests that the residential auction market has also been buoyant. 22,582 residential lots were offered over the year (up to and including October 2022) which was a 3.7% rise over the same period the previous year.

Of these lots, 17,413 were sold. This was a moderate rise of 1.7% over the previous year. It represented a percentage sold of 77.1% – a minor 1.9% fall from last year.

The total raised at residential auctions over the year was £3,322.6m. This represented a 7.2% rise in the value of sales over the previous year.

London Property Auctions

The market in London was fairly steady, with a small (4.2%) rise in the number of residential lots offered and a small (4%) fall in the total raised. These figures could reflect the fact that the London property market generally has been cooler than the regions over the past year.

Regional Property Auctions

Several regional auction markets saw a significant surge in market activity of around 25% and more. This could be due to greater buyer interest in places where prices are more attractive than London – and where investors can still obtain good yields.

The North East saw a 24.8% rise in lots offered compared to the previous year, although the amount raised rose by only 0.2%. The North West Home Counties saw a 29.7% increase in lots offered, and a 15% rise in receipts. In the South West lots offered were up 22.4% and the amount raised up by 10%.

The market in Yorkshire and the Humber proved to be something of a star performer during 2022. Residential auction lots offered here rose sharply by 70.4% and the amount raised by 35.8% according to the EIG returns.

Reports from the market

Savills report that they offered their biggest November auction catalogue for five years, with more than 200 lots offered for sale.

Allsop achieved a 100% sales rate in its September sale, raising £51.8m, followed by 67% in December.

Here’s what some residential auctioneers say about the market over the last year:

Following their December sale Merseyside-based auction house Sutton Kersh Auctions report that they sold 510 lots totalling £58m worth of property in 2022.

Cathy Holt, Associate Director of Sutton Kersh Auctions, summarises the market in 2022: “The last 12 months has been a bit of a roller coaster within the property industry; there have been some incredible months with exceptional sales figures, a vast number of new buyers registering with us and properties selling before we could even list them online due to the exceptional demand.

“The last few months, however, have seen much unrest and uncertainty for many, but results from our last two auctions show there is still a high demand for residential and investment properties. Buying through auction remains more financially appealing to many, particularly in the current moment.”

Speaking before their final sale of 2022 Christopher J.O. Glenn, Divisional Managing Director of Barnard Marcus, said: “The weather may well be getting colder, but our auction sales keep getting hotter especially with this, our final blockbuster sale of 2022. Combining this auction, our online sale on 7th December and all our sales this year, we will have offered to the market almost 3,000 lots, the most ever offered to auction by us since the company was formed.”

He adds: “Turning to this sale it’s a great opportunity for buyers. Many of our clients want their lots sold this year, they have priced at levels significantly lower than we may have expected a few months ago, recognising that borrowing costs are now higher than they were in the summer and have factored this in to offer you lots at fantastic value for money.”

2022 in brief

2022 has certainly been a busy year for residential auctions, indicated by some very positive figures for lots offered, lots sold and amounts raised – and what appear to be some record breaking returns. These figures might indicate a willingness amongst buyers and investors to buy residential property, or perhaps a willingness amongst sellers to sell. But either way the auctioneers have been kept busy.

However, record results in the first three quarters could possibly be tempered by a more subdued market in the last quarter – trends for which have not become clear as yet.

Residential Property Auction Market Review 2022