October Property Auction Market Update

A Potentially Record-Breaking Month for Property Auctions


September is invariably a busy month for residential auctions. Normally that is partly because it is the month for clearing the summer holiday backlog. And partly because it is a popular time to start new projects. (But more about whether these are the reasons later.)

This September however proved to be more than just busy. It potentially proved to be a record-breaking month for residential auction sales.

High numbers of lots

To use an old cliché, lots of lots were offered – in fact more than lots. In September, well over 4,000 lots were offered at the sales we track. This is the highest number of monthly lots by far over the last year. Interestingly it was around a third more lots than the same month last year – in itself a busy month.

The number of lots offered at online sales exceeded the number at live/live-streamed events by around a thousand.

Some very large sales

The number of sales events held in September wasn’t any more than in a typical busy month. In fact, it was five fewer than the same month last year. However, what was notable this month was that some of the individual sales offered very large numbers of lots – and raised some very large amounts as a result.

In the live arena, there were three what could be described as marathon sales with Savills offering 345 lots, SDL Auctions offering 260 and Barnard Marcus offering 245.

Online, Auction House Network offered 626 lots, around a third of them in London. It is reported that Auction House has sold a fifth more properties this year than the same period in 2022.

Allsop Residential offered a massive 1,060 lots, having to stretch their sales over three events to accommodate the volume – a very rare occurrence indeed. This was said to be Allsop’s largest residential auction event since September 2010 (immediately post-financial crisis). 

Good percentages sold

Some might suspect that the large number of lots offered this month would have led to a fall in percentages sold – as demand failed to keep up with supply, or perhaps buyers were spoilt for choice.

This didn’t turn out to be the case. The percentage of lots sold at the sales we track held up very well at 70% overall, only a small fraction behind the best months over the last year.

The chances of selling at a live/live streamed event were 5% higher than selling online.

Percentages sold at individual sales also held up well with a notable number of events having success rates in the 90%+ range (and in a few cases 100% of lots offered were sold). Even the poorest performing sales (and they’re weren’t many) sold 40% or more of their lots.

Auction Property Up for Sale by Property Solvers Auctions

Record amount raised?

Given the large number of lots and the sales rate it will come as no surprise that the total amount raised at all auctions was sizable this September. Well over £560m was raised at the sales we track. This was the highest amount raised in any month over the last year and well in excess of the £404m raised last September – in itself a sizable amount.

While our data only stretches back to early 2021 it is more than likely that the amount of money raised at residential auctions in September 2023 will be a record.

The amount raised per sale (or to put it another way the average value of an auction property) in September was around £137,000. This was similar to September last year and a very strong figure after a number of months in which it seemed the average price of auction property (and property prices generally) was on a downturn.


Given the above figures, it is kind of stating the obvious that September 2023 was a good month for the auction houses.

But it might be more useful to look at the reasons that might be behind this. As we said earlier, September is usually busy anyway as it is a time both to clear the summer backlog and for buyers and sellers to make a fresh start, perhaps on a new project.

These reasons are also likely to apply this month. But could additional reasons for the busyness of the auctions market apply this year?

Very possibly so. It could be a sign that something of a sell-off is underway in the property market. This could be led by portfolio landlords, as their business becomes more challenging and they are finding it more expensive to refinance their mortgages. It could also be that a slowdown in the wider house sales market is pushing more sellers towards auction selling.

Lastly, there does not seem to be any shortage of buyers this September either. As is also the case in the wider property market this could be the reason why prices at auction are holding up well – and there seems no sign of the often-predicted market crash.

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

Live / Live Streamed Property Auctions Data

Online Property Auctions Data