Cheffins Property Auctions finished 2023 on a high, with a 100% sale success rate for the lots offered in its December auction. 

The result was an indication of the strength of the auction market, with all types of property included in the sale, many of which sold far in excess of their guide prices.

The land lots fared particularly well, with strong bidding on all lots - the strongest competition came for the 10.18 acres of grassland at Lidgate, Suffolk. The land was subject to frantic bidding from multiple parties and sold for £186,000, far over its guide of £80,000 - £90,000. Ian Kitson, Director at Cheffins, comments: “Grass and amenity parcels on the edges of villages continue to appeal to a wide range of buyers including neighbours, amenity buyers, locals wanting grazing space and longer-term speculators, all of which often equates to some competitive bidding in the room and some spectacular prices.”

Grassland at Lidgate, Suffolk which attracted multiple bids

An interesting commercial property in Papworth was another popular lot – the former bar/restaurant was in a poor state of repair but offers a rare chance to reintroduce a thriving establishment in the popular village. The bidding reflected that, selling for £108,000 against a guide of £75,000 - £100,000.

There was also a clean sweep of the residential properties within the catalogue.  The two most popular lots were a two-bed house in Cottenham which needed complete renovation and sold for £122,000, well in excess of its guide price of £90,000-£100,000.  A semi-detached bungalow in the desirable village of Toft required full refurbishment and saw some very competitive bidding, finally selling for £250,000, which was £75,000 over guide.  Both of these lots sold to owner occupiers, showing that buyers of all types are increasingly happy to take on larger projects.

A bungalow in Toft which saw competitive bidding and sold above its guide price 

Ian Kitson, Director at Cheffins, comments: “It is always rare to achieve a 100% sale success rate at auction, so to have this against a backdrop of the interest rate and build cost uncertainty last year was fantastic.  It suggests that buyers believe that the outlook for the market is good - the recent lowering of mortgage interest rates supports this view and gives hope of a promising year ahead.”

The December results follow what was a successful 2023 for Cheffins Property Auctions with a total of 70 lots offered including 242 acres of land, raising a total of £9.3 million with an overall success rate of 81% for the year.

Ian Kitson adds: “Last year was a really fascinating one for the property market, and as ever, the auction room was a true barometer of this.  The early and sustained hikes in interest rates and inflation gave some buyers (especially those who are highly geared) cause to pause, but the cash-rich investors that frequent auction sales often view times of unpredictability as the right time to pounce and invest heavily, and this proved to be the case.  Whether in residential or commercial property, there was a flight to prime, with the best lots achieving very strong prices, while those lots that contained some risk had to be priced accordingly."

A Grade II Listed house in Upend which sold in the December auction

He continues: “With the successful December sales and the feeling that interest rates may have now plateaued, we expect to see more buyers back in the market in 2024 as debt financing becomes more affordable. This will help to keep the market fluid and support prices, which in turn should also encourage sellers to bring more stock to the market.  It all makes for what I’m sure will be another interesting year.”

The next property auction will take place on 6th March, with bidding available in the room and online.  The closing date for entries to the catalogue is 2nd February.  

For further information, contact Cheffins Property Auction team on 01223 213343,