Acuitus raises £28.76m from July sale

An industrial asset in Surrey sold for £3.92m under the hammer as Acuitus raised £28.76m at its latest commercial property auction with the sale of 86% of the properties offered.

The freehold of the 43,154-sq ft Hoppings Timber Yard in Lingfield in east Surrey is let on a new 15-year lease at a current annual rent of £275,000. The purchase price reflected a net initial yield of 6.5%.

Acuitus Director Charlie Powter comments: “With a new long lease in place to a good covenant, this 3.78-acre property with low site coverage of 26% also offers the potential for longer term asset management or redevelopment. There was a good depth of interest and this type of long-let investment, irrespective of the lot size, sells well at auction”

Demand for industrial assets was further underlined by the sale of the HB Accident Repair Centre in Swinton, Manchester. Let until 2030 with a tenant’s break option in 2025 and at a current annual rent of £125,000, the 22,831 sq ft property sold prior to auction with a guide price of £1.75m.

John Mehtab, Director at Acuitus, comments: “This was sold on behalf of a major fund and we were delighted to have executed the sale on their behalf within a few days of being instructed”.

Almost £17m was raised from Auction Contract sales prior to auction with an average lot size of more than £1.5m. One such property was a well-known retail arcade in Bournemouth, The Burlington, which sold well in excess of its guide of £1.9m. Elsewhere, 2 and 2a Lendal in York – a restaurant investment occupying a Grade II-listed building in the city centre – attracted considerable attention from investors and also sold prior to auction substantially above its guide price of £1.1m.

Another popular leisure investment which also sold prior substantially above its guide price of £2.7m was The Red Lion Hotel & 4-8 Castle Street in Luton. It is let to the Slug & Lettuce Company until 2045 and produces £212,657pa.

David Margolis, Director and Auctioneer at Acuitus, comments: “We are fortunate to have a large number of sophisticated buying clients who have substantial funds to invest and wish to do so speedily. From our selling clients’ perspective this provides them with the additional option of selling prior to auction.  In this auction, selling prior was an important consideration”.

Richard Auterac, Acuitus Chairman and Auctioneer, comments: “This was our largest sale so far in 2022. A deep understanding of the needs of the ‘cash buyers and of the assets being sold is a prerequisite for successful sales and I am confident that notwithstanding the global and economic issues that we are all aware of, this is a good time in the cycle for investors to place funds into real estate”.

Instructions are now invited for the next Acuitus broadcast auction of 2022 which will take place on Thursday September 22nd. It will provide online, telephone and proxy bidding.