Acuitus raises £14.5m at May auction

Winchcombe House, 5-39 Winchcombe Street, Cheltenham

The sale of a prominent retail parade in Cheltenham led the way at the Acuitus live-streamed online auction held on 9th May.

Selling on behalf of a major fund manager, Winchcombe House, which forms an entire retail parade with office accommodation in central Cheltenham, sold for £1.7m. Currently generating £187,500 pa in rental income, the property has potential for a change of use to a hotel while also offering active asset management opportunities all of which enticed a broad range of interest.

Jon Skerry of Acuitus comments: “Properties which offer excellent development potential, alongside prime city-centre locations, provide substantial active management opportunity for buyers to see long term capital growth. We believe Darcy the cat stays with the building!”

Continuing the retail theme, once again acting for a fund, a prominent section of Truro’s High Street was also sold at the auction with the two adjoining shops situated at 91 and 92 Pydar Street selling for £1.5m. The combined property currently produces £240,000 in annual rental income with the two occupiers having short lease expires in 2027.

In Thurrock, Essex, a motor trade/warehouse, which is currently let to Halfords on a full repairing and insuring lease for a term certain until 2031, sold for £874,000 at a yield of 5.3%. The property generates £49,500 in annual rent with CPIH rent reviews subject to a 1% collar and 3% cap.

David Margolis of Acuitus comments: “We have seen a number of motor trade investments come through our auctions over the past 12 months, and they have proved popular with investors looking for well-established occupiers providing secure income together with redevelopment potential.”

In addition to income producing properties, a total of nine development opportunities sold, highlighting a growing theme of entrepreneurial buyers looking to secure assets with long-term asset management potential. Highlights include:

  • A former public house in Tunbridge Wells selling for £500,000.
  • Six former funeral parlours in Cambridge, Newbury, Amesbury, Chesterfield, Normanton, and Salisbury selling either prior to or at the auction.
  • A substantial freehold car park with residential development potential in Eastbourne sold prior to the auction substantially above its guide price.

Richard Auterac of Acuitus comments: “Auctions are continuing to serve as a conduit between private investors and the development property market, with transactions such as we saw in our auction indicating a more positive sentiment across the commercial property market.”

“As the market awaits impatiently for the reduction in the BoE interest rates, investors can take comfort in the more positive macro picture unfolding and we would expect to see this further charge volumes and transactions across the auction market.”