Emphatic 2022 opener as Acuitus raises £21,827,500

The first Acuitus commercial property auction of 2022 raised £21.82m with a success rate of 97%. Eight lots sold for over £1m, and the average sale price was £855,700.


Acuitus Chairman, Richard Auterac, commented: “This was an emphatic opener for our 2022 auction series and there was tremendous energy from investors with retail parades, trade counters and asset management opportunities generating a particularly high level of bidding.”


A parade of five shops with residential above at 288-306 High Street in Harlington, West London was sold for £2.46m - £800,000 above its initial guide price – and reflecting a net initial yield of 4.8%.


In North-West London, a freehold supermarket and residential ground rent investment sold for £1.925m at a yield of 5.4%. The 5,330-sq ft Tesco Express is let on a new 15-year lease with a tenant break at year 10, and there are eight residential flats producing ground rent income. In total, the investment currently produces an annual income of £110,800.


Acuitus Investment Director and Auctioneer, David Margolis commented: “These two lots vividly illustrated the strong attraction of retail parade and convenience store investments and also – in the case of Harlington - the potential for active asset management”.


The largest lot sold under the hammer was the former Change of Hart pub in Edgware, London which went for £2.855m. Producing current income of £152,500, the property also has a large car park which offers residential development potential subject to necessary consents.


Acuitus investment director John Mehtab commented: “Although this asset was located in a highly sought-after location it was a complex sale as the property was listed”.


Trade counters performed well throughout the pandemic as a result of demand for DIY products by homeowners. The resilience of the sector was reflected in the sale of a Screwfix trade counter in Stafford which sold for £1.265m at a yield of 5.6%. The continued strength of these assets was further underlined by the sale of freehold trade counter/builders merchant investment in Gloucester.  Let on a new 15-year lease, with five-yearly rent reviews of either 2.5% uplifts compounded annually or the market rent if higher, the investment sold for £1.725m at a yield of 4.9%.


Acuitus Director Charlie Powter commented: “These quasi-retail and warehouse investments have been very popular for a number of years now with investors looking for an alternative to high street retail. Demand for these assets continues to exceed supply”.


A specialist short- leasehold interest of one of the best-known cinemas in London - the Odeon in Swiss Cottage – sold on behalf a major fund for £2m. The leasehold interest of this landmark cinema will come to an end in 2032.


Acuitus Chairman, Richard Auterac, commented: “The variety of the lots offered at this sale and the depth of bidding that they attracted shows that investors are targeting opportunities in a systematic and discerning manner. For sellers, the prices achieved today showed the hugely effective route to market that our auctions provide. Selling commercial property investments and development opportunities requires from the start, deep and wide-ranging skills in understanding the underlying asset and then being able to communicate the key investment characteristics to expert investors such that the investor energy is harnessed for the benefit of the sellers and buyers alike”.   


“It’s to be hoped that results such as this will encourage more owners to bring their assets to market as there are exceptional opportunities to realise best price.”