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.
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|
|East of England||6,200,000||38,565||62||£192,389||£306,346||37.20%|
City House Auction Hotspots
We’ve identified the top 10 cities and towns across the UK that are house auction hotbeds of activity.
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)|
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.
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.
Adjusted (per 10,000)
|Kingston upon Hull||260645||518.26||19.88|
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.