2020 will certainly be a year we all remember, how the pandemic of Covid-19 created such worldwide disruption – with only Antarctica evading the virus. If you said at the start of 2020 that the auctions would be solely online, many, if not all would have scoffed at the thought. But how wrong would they (and we) have been!
I think we’ve all come to value our friends, family and family life even more than ever. Many businesses, livelihoods, our health service and almost every conceivable way of our normal life have been thrown into turmoil. We have all been affected in one way or another with our little corner (property auctions) being no exception.
We really do appreciate that we have been able to operate during the lockdowns and the trust our clients placed and continue to place in us, to sell their land and property. We have been overwhelmed by the level of interest from prospective buyers in all sectors, whether they’re looking for vacant residential or commercial premises, tenanted properties, garages, ground rents or the various lots of land. As buyers and sellers have had to embrace the changes, so have we: wearing face masks, gloves, washing hands and keeping our distance is a small price to pay to continue to provide the auction service so many rely on.
We have seen a massive, unprecedented shift from the traditional ballroom to purely online auctions, something none of us would have predicted a year ago. It still carries the same emotions, apprehension for those who have never bought or sold by auction; excitement as your lot reaches its reserve and bidding continues; nervousness as you submit another bid; elation as your bid is the highest and disappointment when you’re outbid. Even the trusted gavel has become a virtual one.
It’s at this time of the year that we normally get asked to predict the future and wax lyrical about achievements, bringing the highs and lows of the year’s results. Briefly, our December auction raised over £13 million, pushing the year to date to £125 million for our clients. For those that are interested in individual lots, all our results are available to peruse on our website.
As we close the doors on 2020, and some will say good riddance, we look to the future, what could 2021 bring?
Remember, we will always need a roof over our heads, irrespective of whether we get a Brexit deal or not and therefore we believe the market will continue to remain buoyant, especially as it looks like interest rates and borrowing will remain low and relatively ‘cheap’. While demand outstrips supply, prices are likely to continue rise; there will be those that will be able to take advantage of the Stamp Duty holiday (expiring 31 March) and with the rolling out of Covid vaccines, while remaining vigilant if we are to beat this virus and keep up with the Governments/Scientists recommendations, it surely must bring more certainty to the economy, industry and business: we are all looking forward to getting back to some kind of normality and hopefully the return of the ballroom auctions and a ‘real’ gavel!
Our first scheduled auction for 2021 is just round the corner, for now they’ll continue to be held online, with the first of the new year scheduled for Wednesday 10 February with a closing date for suitable entries of 19 January.
We look forward to speaking to you about auctions, the process, buying and/or selling but in the meantime the Directors and staff wish everyone a very healthy Christmas (however you’ll be celebrating it) and a safe 2021.