Auction roundup – making a move and the largest portfolio for sale

2 April 2021 | Investment

The North West-based group will relocate from The Plaza on Old Hall Street at the start of April after seeing its headcount double in the past year.

Founded in 2008, Landwood Group is an expert in property, asset management, plant and machinery and property auctions, with an experienced team of chartered surveyors, project managers, asset managers and auctioneers. 

The group, headquartered in Manchester, will occupy a 1,200 sq ft space in Exchange Flags, which is owned by Ashtrom Properties UK. 

Eight members of staff across the group’s four service lines – property auctions, asset management, recovery and valuation, and project and building consultancy – will relocate to the new premises, which also houses a boardroom and has capacity for more staff.

The company says headcount at its Liverpool office has increased steadily since it first opened its two-person capacity office in 2018, before quickly doubling to four employees. 

Over the last 12 months, the Landwood Group has experienced growth across all its divisions, with headcount across the group increasing from 18 to 27 FTE employees.

In September, the group launched its new project and building consultancy division in response to growing demand for concise, expert commercial advice.

Mark Bailey, Landwood Group’s managing director, comments: “Exchange Flags is an iconic building at the heart of Liverpool’s business quarter and our move to the building represents how significant the city is to our business and our future.”

“The Plaza helped facilitate our growth at a central location, but moving to Exchange Flags will enable us to continue increasing our presence in a key region and where demand for our services is growing.”

Bailey says the move comes at a time of growth for the group, with business performance reflecting the ‘extraordinary effect’ the pandemic has had and how quickly it has accelerated many emerging trends.

“The changing face of city centres and the high street, and the closure or restructuring of many traditional businesses, has seen a rising demand for our recovery and valuation services,” he adds.

“Meanwhile, the closure of traditional auction houses has meant a greater number of businesses are now comfortable selling property – including large portfolios – online through our property auction site.”

‘One of the largest lots at auction’ for sale at Connect UK Auctions

Lot 10, a property portfolio guided at £17,500,000-£18,500,000, is set to go under the hammer at Connect UK Auctions April event.

The portfolio, based in and around London, comprises a mixture of freehold and leasehold properties generating a mighty £1,846,183 per annum with a 10.5% yield.

Listed on numerous portals as one of the largest lots to ever go to auction, Connect UK Auctions says it is thrilled to be part of the process and acknowledges that 2021 has proved ‘nothing but a positive first quarter’.

With the imminent lifting of restrictions strengthening buyer demand, Connect UK Auctions sold 94% of lots entered in its February auction through the live and interactive Connect Realtime® bidding platform.

Zad Siadatan, chief executive officer of Connect UK Auctions, comments: “With the changes which have been forecasted to CGT and numerous other legislations, many landlords are seeking an alternative route of disposal. Auctions provide speed and certainty and it’s clear throughout the UK that property auctions are becoming increasingly popular.”

According to the auctioneer, disposing of a portfolio is now quite common and the key to selling a portfolio of such a size (131 units) is in the preparation.

With Lot 10 fully let, each potential buyer will be required to see all legal documentation for every unit, including proof of the rental income and tenancy agreements which Connect UK helped to compile.

Connect UK Auctions says many portfolio owners will ‘drip feed’ properties into the market over a stretched period of time in order to maximise the selling value. However, many can be attracted to the thought of one sale, one transaction.

The benefits of selling this way outweigh the discount buyers will receive upon purchase, which has led to more properties selling via auction.

Bringing one of the highest-profile transactions in the property investment sector in recent years, this has caused a stir in the market and Connect UK Auctions claims there will be many more.

Investment opportunities abound at Strettons’ April sale

The catalogue for Strettons’ upcoming property auction is now available, featuring 51 commercial and residential properties.

One highlight of the sale is 17 The Pavement. The four-storey, Grade II-listed property within a conservation area overlooks Clapham Common and offers a substantial freehold investment opportunity with a coffee shop, four flats with assured shorthold tenancies and vacant basement development potential (subject to permissions).

The sale boasts several residential properties that offer significant investment potential. An end-terrace on Putney Bridge Road, also within a conservation area, comprising a ground floor shop and basement plus three self-contained flats is guided from £700,000.

Meanwhile, a three-storey Islington property currently arranged as four self-contained flats, located on the north side of Blundell Street between York Way and Caledonian Road and just south of Brewery Road, is listed from £725,000.

Andrew Brown, director and auctioneer at Strettons, comments: “We’re very much looking forward to April’s auction. Over the last 12 months, we’ve sold £80 million worth of property at a success rate of 92%. We have continued confidence that the market is holding up well as we start coming out of the trying times experienced during the last year.”

Vacant and part-vacant freehold advertising sites with potential for development are available in London, Southampton, Gosport, Canterbury and Chatham, guided from £28,000-£180,000. Two former electricity sub stations are also in the listings: one in South Yorkshire starting at £4,500 as commercial ground rent investment and one in the Isle of Wight, guided at £45,000 with vacant freehold.

Brown adds: “Although it’s now 12 months since we have been able to have a ballroom auction, our clients quickly adapted to the live stream and we have seen the appetite of buyers online both here in the UK and overseas maintain momentum throughout. We expect April’s auction to be another successful one.”

Strettons’ April auction will take place at 12 noon on Thursday April 8 2021 and will be live-streamed with remote bidding only. You can download the full catalogue here.

This post has originally been featured in Property Investor Today.