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Graham Awards


Tough times ahead warns auctioneer, despite record year

The UK’s largest property auctioneer is warning of tough times ahead despite a record number of sales in 2022.

Auction House sold 4,132 properties in 2022 compared to 3,606 in 2021 – the first time the network has broken through the 4,000-lot threshold in the group’s 16-year history.

The total money raised by the auctions increased too, by four per cent, to over £60.68m.


But managing director Jeremy Prior says he is cautious looking ahead to the rest of 2023.

“Anyone who tells you that the property market is going great guns simply doesn’t understand the property market. 

“Demand from buyers unquestionably declined in the final quarter of last year, which is a direct reflection of the general economy. 

“We’ve seen price falls of between 10 and 15 percent over the last six months and would expect them to remain that way going forward into the first half of 2023.

“Similarly, interest rates have been on the rise and are likely to rise again in the first quarter of this year. So, things are pretty tough out there, and they’re likely to stay that way until July at least.”

He says that vendors will have to be realistic over their guide prices, and take notice of expert guidance. 

“We would expect interest rates to start levelling off at [summer]. So, we’re predicting a tough first six months or so, and then a gradual improvement in levels of business in the second half of the year.

“As far as prices are concerned, the beauty of an auction is that properties going under the hammer instantly find their market level. 

“Of course, global events – including the war in Ukraine – make the future very difficult to predict, but we are certainly finding that more and more vendors are using the auction process for speed and certainty of sale.”


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