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House Auction Hotspots


Whether to buy your next house, start exploring the world of buy-to-let or expand your portfolio, home auctions are a strategy used by professional property buyers and newcomers alike. Leading auction site Auction House UK noted a 25% increase in interest last year, while renowned auctioneer Savills saw a 36% increase in value sold last year.

Some believe auction houses are growing in popularity thanks to buyers wanting to get ahead of the stamp duty holiday, the move to online-only auctions that have increased their reach and even growing interest in BBC’s Homes Under the Hammer

Why Buy a House at Auction?

In the past, house auctions have typically been used only by professional buyers and sellers. But, thanks to a more flexible property market, more inexperienced buyers are using strategies like bridging loans to dip their toes in the waters of auctioneering.

Houses sold at auction can often go for much lower than market value and auctions are a great place to find properties that may otherwise be difficult to finance. For example, serious fixer-uppers that need a lot of work can be bought for cheap and renovated to either sell on, rent out or live in.

House Auction Searches by Region

Auctions are all about besting the competition, so finding the areas with the least competition can help prospective buyers get the best deals and keep their bids down. We’ve analysed search engine data to identify the most and least popular house auction hotspots in the UK.

house auction searches by UK region

Research by Octagon Capital found that most auction-goers can make massive savings compared to regional average house prices. Auctions can bring more than 60% savings in comparison with traditional home buying.

Region Population Searches Adjusted (per 10,000) Average Auction House Cost  Average House Cost % Change
West Midlands 2,900,000 69,750 241 £130,675 £215,451 39.35%
North West 7,300,000 151,155 207 £108,297 £184,351 41.25%
Yorkshire 5,500,000 71,919 131 £82,778 £182,220 54.57%
East Midlands 4,800,000 52,171 109 £103,228 £213,967 51.76%
South East 9,200,000 61,552 67 £275,286 £345,075 20.22%
East of England 6,200,000 38,565 62 £192,389 £306,346 37.20%
North East 2,700,000 16,451 61 £42,630 £138,370 69.19%
South West 5,600,000 31,140 56 £156,558 £279,242 43.93%
London 8,900,000 47,181 53 £216,509 £496,269 56.37%
Wales 3,100,000 10,551 34 £75,064 £179,861 58.27%
Scotland 5,500,000 5,633 10 £58,052 £161,529 64.06%


City House Auction Hotspots

We’ve identified the top 10 cities and towns across the UK that are house auction hotbeds of activity.

10 uk cities with highest house auction interest

The North West is home to 5 of the top 6 auction house hotspots, with no city in the South reaching the top 10.

City Population Searches Adjusted (per 10,000)
Chester 79,645 1,751 219.85
Manchester 547,627 10,519 192.08
Preston 114,300 2,128 186.21
Liverpool 498,042 7,027 141.10
Derby 248,700 2,822 113.45
Bradford 529,870 5,169 97.56
Sheffield 584,853 5,494 93.93
Nottingham 329,200 2,885 87.63
Birmingham 1,141,816 8,322 72.88
Newport 145,700 1,028 70.57

Cities With the Lowest Property Auction Search Interest

In our survey of the most populous UK cities, these 10 had the lowest auction house search interest. This could suggest that potential auction-goers in these areas might enjoy less competition than in other areas of the country.

10 uk cities with lowest house auction interest

3 Scottish cities placed in the 10 lowest auction house interest areas of the UK, suggesting online interest in Scotland isn’t as popular as the rest of the UK. Inner London came 5th, differing from the Greater London region in the first map. This is surprising, considering the potential savings the property buyers in the capital could enjoy.

City Population Searches
Adjusted (per 10,000)
Brighton 290885 608.83 20.93
Kingston upon Hull 260645 518.26 19.88
Edinburgh 488050 932.54 19.11
Southampton 253651 470.56 18.55
Stirling 94330 171.08 18.14
London 8908081 15572.75 17.48
Sunderland 277417 431.05 15.54
Exeter 124328 174.43 14.03
Worcester 98768 124.08 12.56
Aberdeen 196670 174.43 8.87


Advice from an expert

We spoke to mortgage expert Pete Mugleson of Online Mortgage Advisor on his top tips when preparing for a property auction:

Get your finances in order ahead of auction day

Putting a budget in place ahead of your day at the auction means you know roughly how high you’re willing to go as well as making sure you’re not getting swept up in the excitement of bidding. With completion times being as short as 20 working days, it’s imperative you have the finance part in place before you start bidding, such as applying for and getting yourself a bridge loan.

Make sure you’ve viewed the property

Much like buying a property through an estate agent, it’s vital that you view the property before you start bidding. The auction house will arrange the viewing, and someone will be there to let you into the property, so you can have a good look around and make sure it’s the right property for you.

Don’t get carried away when bidding

Auctions are such fast-paced environments that it can be easy to get caught up in the atmosphere and end up bidding more than you initially budgeted for. Make sure you stick to your budget as it’s important to remember, you set it for a reason. Once the gavel falls, you will be committing yourself to the purchase through a reservation agreement so it’s important that you’re able to afford the property.

Auction time scales are much faster

The process of purchasing a property through an auction is much quicker compared to a regular private sale. This is mainly because contracts are exchanged as soon as the bidding is over. Make sure you’re clued up on the legality side of the sale and make sure you have your finances sorted before the date of completion.

Don’t be turned off by renovation work

Like all properties, there are always going to be aspects of it that you don’t like. Perhaps you decide you want to rip out the kitchen and install a new one, or maybe it’s just as simple as needing a lick of paint. Not only will it save you some money to buy a house that needs a bit of work done to it, but it also gives you the chance to put your own stamp on the property and potentially make a profit if you decide to sell it on further down the line.