Pugh, the UK’s largest commercial auctioneer by number of lots sold, has broken records with its latest property auction held in Leeds and Manchester in February, which generated the firm’s largest sales total in more than ten years.
More than £21m and 187 lots of commercial and residential properties and development land across the north of England were sold in the auction – 80 per cent of the total lots up for sale. Properties ranged from a terraced house in Trimdon Station, County Durham, which had a guide price of £10,000 and sold for £21,000, to a grade II-listed four-storey office block on Minshull Street in Manchester city centre, which was guided at £1.25m and sold, on behalf of the Ministry of Justice, for more than £3m.
Established 25 years ago, Warrington-based Pugh was acquired by property consultant Eddisons last year and now has a team of 36 staff. The firm sold £100m of property at auction in 2016.
Managing director Paul Thompson said: “The February auction continued the really positive momentum we have seen over the last two years, with a strong appetite from buyers to invest in property. We achieved our best results in over a decade and the bidding was intense, fuelled by the diversity and quality of the properties and land on offer.”
He added: “We are also seeing an ever increasing demand from our investors from outside the north who are getting excellent returns for their money compared to other, more expensive, areas of the country. There is also a growing trend for more first time buyers to venture into the auction room, which can be a speedier, and sometimes less expensive, route onto the property ladder than a more conventional property purchase via an estate agent.”
Mr Thompson said: “Our recent auction was the largest since 2006, despite concerns over the impact of the recent changes to stamp duty and the uncertainty around Brexit. I’m confident that with low interest rates and strong investment returns on property we will continue to grow in 2017 as a national auction business.”
Prior to its acquisition in 2016, Paul was the owner and managing director of Pugh’s Auctions, one of the country's leading property auction houses.
Paul has overseen the integration of the Eddisons team into the Pugh Auction brand and as MD leads the strategic direction and development of the new combined auction business under the ownership of Begbies Traynor Group plc. Through his position on the RICS Auction Steering Group, Paul is also part of the committee responsible for implementing policy and driving standards in the auction industry.
In addition to a 15 year successful track record in auctions Paul has a wide range of experience through work in the construction sector in private practice with Faithful & Gould and with Main Contractors plus working in a global building consultancy team specialising in project management and advising Banks and Insolvency Practitioners on a range of national and international cases.