News: Big increase in buying property by auction

Buying a property at auction is fast emerging as a popular method of buying property, with 21,000 homes going under the hammer each year.

There has been a 60% increase in the number of properties being bought and sold at auction since 1998, according to a leading provider of auction information across the UK.

Thousands of bargain hunters and professional investors are turning to the UK's auction rooms to find their perfect property at affordable prices. But research is the key, and novices keen on buying at auction should carry out sufficient checks before the hammer falls. Auction experts exhibiting at the Property Investor Show offer the following advice on how to make the most out of buying at auction:

  • Research the lots for sale. You can either contact the auction house or search online for details of all the properties for sale at auction.
  • Arrange to view any of the lots you are interested in buying and research the property thoroughly. You could ask local estate agents or neighbours for their opinion.
  • Many properties being sold at auction are in need of improvement, so make sure you are aware of how much time and money needs to be invested in the property.
  • Carry out thorough checks on the property in question, including land, legal and structural surveys. It is best to seek advice from a professional.
  • Sort your finances. If you successfully bid for a property, you will need to pay a 10% deposit on the fall of the hammer and the balance within 28 days.

David Sandeman, managing director of the Essential Information (E.I.) Group, has been watching the auction market for over 20 years. The E.I. Group covers the whole of the UK and says it is recognised as the industry standard for auction information.

The group currently has information on over 300,000 past properties and details on over 35,000 future lots that are offered each year, worth in excess of £5 billion.

Sandeman commented: "Buying at auction has emerged as a great way for buyers to get their hands on a property quickly and at a competitive price. Although not for the faint hearted, those with nerves of steel and the ability to carry out thorough research on a property in advance can benefit from bumper profits, even in a stagnant market." 

"Buying at auction has become a lot easier for both novice and professional investors, with the number of properties being bought and sold at auction increasing by 60% since 1998. One of the main reasons for this is the internet, which facilitates the whole process, giving potential buyers access to information on lots for sale across the country in advance of the auction. You can see a property you like, and own it within a couple of weeks."

Buying property abroad through auction is also becoming a more popular option. Inez Rix, director and auctioneer of Direct Auctions, a Spanish auction house exhibiting at the Property Investor Show commented: "One of the reasons buying overseas property at auction has been so successful is that the properties are usually significantly cheaper than in the open market. It is possible to purchase an overseas property at auction up to 50% lower than other similar properties."

"Additionally, overseas investors can often struggle to understand complicated legal procedures. We take care of all of this by ensuring all property documents are checked before the property is entered into auction. This ensures time and money is not wasted on an unregistered or illegal property, and that the purchaser will not have to pay any debts associated with the property."

Nick Clark, managing director of the Property Investor Show commented: "We have seen a steady increase in the number of auction houses exhibiting at our shows over the past couple of years. Buying property at auction is a great way to profit in an uncertain market, as they can often be bought under market value."

"Research is the key however, and time and money can often be required to modernise the properties. But, for those looking for a quick and cost effective purchase, buying at auction is a great option. There will be a selection of auction specialists exhibiting at the Property Investor Show, offering advice and information for both novices and investors looking to buy their next home under the hammer."

The Property Investor Show will be hitting the vast ExCeL Centre in London’s Docklands from Friday 22 to Sunday 24 September, and will feature over 250 exhibitors specialising in all areas of property investment both in the UK and abroad. There will also be a comprehensive programme of expert-led seminars covering all aspects of buying, selling, financing and managing property. Entry to the show is free of charge, with the majority of seminars costing £5 each.

Further details on the Property Investor Shows, and to register for free tickets, visit www.propertyinvestor.co.uk 

Visitors to the show could also take a look at The London Homebuilding & Renovating Show 2006 which is also taking place at ExCeL over the course of the weekend. The show will help those who want to save money and create a dream home, and boasts more than 220 exhibitors, 12 free seminars every day and six free masterclasses. Tickets are £8 in advance or £12 on the door (children under 16 go free).

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