COVID-19 Update

Sellers turn to auction as bidder numbers and selling prices rocket

Auction House – operating as Loveitts Auction House in Coventry and Warwickshire  - is reporting a wave of new sellers to its auctions, attracted by a rise in the number of bidders, and selling-prices which are regularly reaching figures well-ahead of expectations.

The group has already experienced its busiest ever March, with 476 lots entered into this month’s sales, compared to its previous highest figure of 434 in 2020.


Commenting on the figures, Sally Smith, Auctioneer and Director said: “In an ordinary year, this would be considered an excellent achievement; in the middle of a global pandemic, it’s a phenomenal one.


“Our auctions are often attracting viewer numbers well into four figures, and some lots are each receiving more than 100 bids before the hammer falls. One of our recent livestream auctions had over 1,000 bidders registered to take part – far more than ever used participate in a room auction.


“So, not only has the auction process managed to cope with the constraints of the Covid crisis, it’s actually flourished!”


During February, and despite the restrictions of a third lockdown, Auction House sold 395 auction lots from 490 offered, at a success rate of 80.6% and raised almost £59 million (£58,921,575).


Crucially, the group’s average selling price surged from £123,300 to £149,500 – a 20% rise year-on-year. Sally says there’s strong evidence of more sellers who previously relied on the private treaty process now choosing auction, which in turn has led to an improvement in the quality of properties being entered into sales.


She added: “There are three reasons why the auction method of sale is currently faring so well. The first is unquestionably speed. We can get a seller from instruction to exchange in as little as three weeks, with completion a matter of days later. In estate agency that process usually takes more than three months. So, whilst the extension to the Stamp Duty Holiday announced in last week’s Budget is welcome, if someone is selling a higher-value property via an estate agent but hasn’t yet got a buyer, they are still unlikely to complete before the new deadline of 30th June.


“Secondly, there’s certainty. Entering a property into one of our auctions gives sellers a fixed date for the sale, with exchange taking place that day on the fall of the hammer. No gazumping, no gazundering; just a simple, straightforward deal between buyer and seller, with an agreed date for completion built into the contract.


“Finally, it’s all about success. We’re selling four out of every five properties entered into our auctions throughout the country. The system is open and transparent, with the results of each sale published and available on the web for all to see.


“Ultimately, the auction process is far more responsive. The time it takes from someone’s decision to sell a property to the moment the money arrives in their bank account is unbelievably quick. And because demand is strong, prices are strong. So it really does make sense to capitalise on the opportunity and sell as soon as possible.”