Development opportunities & ground rent investment lead the way in Acuitus’s first auction of 2023

Aldersgate House, 135-137 Aldersgate Street

The first Acuitus commercial property auction of 2023 raised £13.3m with a success rate of 88%.

Highlights from the auction include a City of London retail & office ground rent investment which sold substantially over the guide price; as well as a landmark development opportunity near Salford Quays, Manchester.

Acuitus Chairman, Richard Auterac, commented: “A number of lots attracted considerable attention from the very outset of our marketing, especially in much sought-after sectors such as development and ground rent investments. However, we have also seen sustained transactions across traditional High Street retail, especially those assets let at sustainable rents”.

A rare City of London office ground rent investment at Aldersgate House, 135-137 Aldersgate Street sold on behalf of a major investment institution for £1.455m at a yield of 4.61%. Seven parties registered to bid on this lot alone with a bidding frenzy starting at £800,000 and ending in a sale price some 70 % over the reserve.

Elsewhere, 2.1 acres of development land in Manchester was sold on behalf of Liquidators for £1.5m. Situated at 418 Chester Road, and in close proximity to Salford Quays and Old Trafford, the site previously had planning permission for a high-density residential development of around 200 units.

Acuitus Director Charlie Powter commented: “The residential development sector is still feeling its way forward after last year’s economic disruption but this site has tremendous potential owing to its location and the high level of interest showed that residential developers are very much still active”.

Other lots of note included in the sale was another development property on Argyle Street in Glasgow City Centre, which sold for £910,000. Situated in the very heart of the city on the ‘Golden Z’ retail district, the mixed retail/residential tower block offered sizeable potential returns for its new owner.

A Roadside Trade Counter investment in Southend-on-Sea was sold prior to the auction, for around 20% above the initial guide price, while in Middlesbrough, a prominent & substantial High Street bank, let to HSBC on a lease where the tenant was holding over, sold for £680,000, after a careful pricing strategy that certainly caught the eye of investors, many of whom were locally based.

Acuitus Chairman, Richard Auterac, comments: “The diversity of demand that this auction demonstrated is encouraging as we move into 2023.

“Investor demand remains strong and we expect to see more transactions taking place through our market place as owners either look to recycle capital or face difficulties in refinancing assets”.