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Auction bonanza as landlords contribute to record business

Landlords are often seen as stalwarts of property auctions, and are attributed with helping the sector’s growth over the past decade.

Property information service Moverly has analysed the annual revenue of the property auction house sector since 2013 to understand how the market has grown and the data shows that in 2022, the UK property auction house sector generated total revenue of £409.3m.

This is the largest in a decade and represents growth of almost 30 per cent since 2013 when revenue totalled £316.4m. 


However, despite this 10-year growth, the decade’s data shows that the property auction sector was struggling to gain traction for a long time, shrinking in size every year between 2017 and 2021 when revenue hit a low of £251.3m.

When the pandemic hit, it initially acted to exacerbate this market decline with unusually high buyer demand meaning that sellers were less likely to turn to the auction house because selling on the open market was reliable and more profitable. This caused two consecutive years of double-digit decline in 2020 and 2021.

But this high demand soon started to cause a backlog in the housing market, particularly in the conveyancing process for which timelines began stretching beyond six months.

Moverly says this goes a long way to explaining why the property auction house sector went from year after year of decline to recording remarkable annual growth of 62.9 per cent between 2021 and 2022, as sellers who couldn’t afford to wait for the sluggish conveyancing process opted for the faster option of putting their home under the hammer. 

From this peak, the economic turmoil of 2023 has now led to a cooling housing market in which both buyers and sellers are sitting on the fence, waiting for the economy to stabilise. As such, Moverly is forecasting that by the end of this year, auction market revenue will have recorded a marginal annual decline of 5.3 per cent. 

Even so, this will result in annual revenue of £387.7m which is still the second highest in the last decade.

Moverly co-founder Ed Molyneux comments: “A severe bottleneck in the buying process, caused by surging buyer demand during the pandemic, forced many sellers to the auction house in 2022. 

"This is far from an ideal path to selling as it often means accepting a lower price than would be expected on the open market, not to mention the uncertainty over just what that price will be. The bottleneck was almost entirely caused by delays in the conveyancing process which simply couldn’t handle the demand.”

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