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Auctions make come-back in ‘bumper December’

Written by: Heather Greig-Smith
The auction industry finished 2016 with a bumper December, according to the latest figures from Essential Information Group (EIG).

The overall number of residential lots offered for sale in December increased by almost 12%, equating to 317 more lots than December 2015. The large gain in residential instructions in the month pushed the figures for the quarter 1.4% ahead of the previous year and the annual growth to 4.2% (1,136 more lots than last year).

The upswing followed a troublesome few months, which saw auction activity decline steadily following the changes to Stamp Duty in April. In November, 1.1% fewer residential properties were put up at auction than in the same month last year, while the number of lots sold was down 4.7%. In the whole of Q3, residential properties put up for sale were down 3.1%, while sales were down 6.8%.

EIG managing director David Sandeman said: “This is the largest ever number of lots offered and sold during December, beating the previous highs recorded.

“Having reported on a few challenging months towards the latter part of last year, it is pleasing to see that the industry enjoyed an extremely positive end to proceedings.”

Auction sales were still down 1.5% in Q4 compared with last year, however over the whole of the year the number was up 1.6%. Overall, for residential and commercial property, 3,754 lots were offered and 2,830 sold in December.

The total amount raised at auction in December was up 5% to £537m – this was the largest amount realised in December for 10 years. While this was mainly a result of commercial sales increases, the residential sector nevertheless grew its annual sales in 2016 to £3,236m, up 2.3% from £3,163m in 2015.

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