October Property Auction Market Update

Auctions back in business with a bang! But…

August is historically a slow month in the auctions business, as our September Property Auction Market Update tended to confirm.

Likewise, September is also historically the month when the property auctions get back to business. Although there may be an element of satisfying pent-up summer demand, September’s auction data should give a more accurate indication of how the market is progressing overall.

So what happened in the UK auction market in September 2022?

Auction rooms busy as expected, online activity slips

Hammers in the property auction rooms (both real and virtual) certainly do seem to have been banging down hard this month. It was a busy time with around 2,909 lots offered in September 2022 at the sales we track.

This compared with less than 700 in August and was almost 25% up on September 2021.

Interestingly the split between online auctions and live/live streamed auctions differed this month.

Over the last year, lots offered at online sales have tended to be around twice those offered on a live/live streamed basis. But in September 2022, there was a more even split with 56% of lots offered online.

Who’s listing lots?

As is frequently the case the vast majority of auctioneers, including those who opt not to have a sale over the summer holiday period, had a sale this month.

The biggest sales in the live/live streamed arena were, as again is often the case, Barnard Marcus who offered 280 lots followed by Savills who offered 157 lots.

The biggest sales in the online arena were with McHugh & Co. who offered 231 lots and Auction House with just over 500 lots across their national network.

Percentage sold up, but below the annual trend

Percentages sold are of course another important indicator of progress in the market. Percentage sold rates varied from 39% to 100% of lots offered but on average 71% of lots were sold in September. This was a slight improvement over the 67% sold in August, but still slightly under the circa 75-80% sales rate that has been usual over the last 12 months.

On average there was pretty much no difference in the chances of selling online versus the chances of selling at a live/live streamed sale this month.

Total amount raised holds steady over the year

The amount of money raised in auctions can give some clue as to how busy the auction market and the property market overall are. Although it needs to be remembered that rising property prices over the last couple of years should, in theory at least, mean rising amounts raised at auction too.

In September 2022 around £404m was raised in all kinds of sale. This far exceeded the £87.5m raised in August which, being traditionally slow, is not a good comparison. However, this was only just over 4% more than the £388m raised in September 2021. HM Land Registry figures report property prices rose 15.5% annually over a similar period.


September 2022 saw some very significant events in the UK. The appointment of a new Prime Minister was followed by a mini-budget on 23 September announcing a host of tax cuts. The Bank of England’s decision to increase the cost of borrowing on 22 September sent further shockwaves through the financial and property markets. The death of HM Queen Elizabeth II and subsequent state funeral caused normal business to pause for a few days.

It is important to note that the vast majority of lots entered in September sales will have been listed well before most of these events. And many of the sales were held before the significant financial events at the end of the month. So it is perhaps not unsurprising that the auction market in September 2022 does not appear to have been impacted by them and has been as brisk as any September.

Autumn 2022, however, looks likely to be the start of a very different era for the property market and hence the auctions market in the UK. Everyone will be keenly watching to see who wants to sell at auction, who wants to buy and just as importantly what they want to pay over the coming months.

Check out our monthly updated statistics below, courtesy of the Essential Information Group (click on the key colours to highlight / dehighlight).