The Austin Gray Auction House branch in Sussex has had a busy and profitable August, with a success rate of 82% – a full five percentage points ahead of 2015’s figure of 77% – and a month which included the sale of the group’s 2,000th property this year.

Our award-winning property auction department held seven sales across the country during what is traditionally a quiet period for the sector, selling 113 lots from 137 offered, and raising a total of £12m. Cumulative results are also ahead of last year; sales in the first eight months of 2016 totalled 2,044 lots, at a cumulative success rate of 78%, raising over £275m.

Commenting on the group’s performance, Nick Muston FRICS said: “This is another set of excellent figures during a challenging time for the industry – what with the uncertainty of Brexit and the continuing concern over the previous Chancellor’s additional 3% Stamp Duty for landlords and second home buyers. But we are now getting back to usual volumes, and I can also report that September entries are on a par with last year, at 530 lots”.

Nick says that a recent spate of keen guides and realistic reserves are tempting buyers to return to the country’s auction rooms in significant numbers.

He explained: “A new norm is being created out there. Although we may not be back to what you might call a regular auctions market yet, we are certainly moving in that direction. More and more people are appreciating that selling property under the hammer is a faster route to a sale.

“Whilst some investors remain cautious, others see the current climate as an opportunity, as property continues to be the highest yielding investment on offer to the general public. Demand in our Northern and Midlands sale rooms has remained strong throughout, and we are reporting good success in Scotland too.

“All in all, we remain genuinely optimistic and are now focused on getting back to normality as soon as possible”.