Dedman Gray Auctions on Investing in Essex, Risks, Challenges and Forecasts

We put some questions to Mike Gray, managing director at Dedman Gray – a well-established auctioneer and property consultancy covering the Essex area…

Mike Gray - Dedman Gray AuctionsWhat trends have you observed within the residential property sector at Dedman Gray during the first quarter of 2024 and as we transition into Spring/Summer?

During this period more properties have come to the market as the sellers have seen confidence improved from buyers.

What factors do you believe contribute to the strong interest in investing and auction acquisitions across Essex?

Investors find Essex attractive as price levels are still considerably lower than London and some parts of Essex are holding out strong in capital values.

Could you share some notable (and even unusual!) sales achieved at Dedman Gray so far this year?

Our regional auction is consistently selling £8m + worth of property on a regular basis.  We sold a family home on a large plot in West Bergolt, Colchester for £820,000 within 6 weeks of inspection – This had been on the market for many months.

What are your forecasts for the property auction market for the remainder of 2024 and heading into 2025?

Instruction levels are continuing to come through and auction is now selling not only to landlords investors and property companies, but to many private buyers in the residential sector.

From your perspective, what are the primary risks and challenges currently impacting the auction sector in the medium term, looking ahead over the next 5 years?

We need to maintain a consistent level of the right type of properties at the right price coming to the market under the hammer.

How do you assess the prevailing macroeconomic climate and its potential implications for both the residential property auction sectors?

I believe the current climate favours the quick decisive process of auction and this will continue to be the case where there is still uncertainty in the market values and interest rates.

With the sustained higher interest rate environment, how has the auction sector adapted, and what changes have you noticed in buyer profiles?

The auction sector has adapted very well by adjusting target yields to be achieved and therefore still providing a good return to investors.  The main change in buyer profile is we now see more private buyers and investors with a small portfolio (1 – 4 properties) trading in the auction room for the first time.

What are your perspectives on the potential implications of a Labour government overseeing the economy for residential property investment and development?

They need to be very careful with the balance of encouraging landlords versus tenants.  Tenant demand is high for residential rental accommodation and private landlords should no longer be discouraged from entering this market or further restrictions put on the landlords to force existing property owners to sell out their portfolio.

Where can individuals find more information about the auctions conducted by Dedman Gray?

We would encourage both buyers and sellers to visit our website at Dedman Gray Auctions and register with us for our regular catalogue by emailing (they can still have a printed version) and receive updates on new lots coming to the market and price reductions on any unsold lots.

Dedman Gray Auctions specialises in the sale of a range of assets across Essex including freehold or leasehold vacant houses, flats, tenanted properties, commercial shops, offices, industrial warehouses, buy to let investments, repossessed properties, short lease properties, ground rent investments, probate cases, properties with structural defects alongside any development land, greenbelt land and building plots with or without planning consent.