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Turning Clicks into Bricks

Peter Hemple comments on whether we have embraced online only auctions yet?

We last wrote about the emergence of online only property auctions back in December 2013. At that time Zoopla, in conjunction with auction.com (a large online real estate auction company from the US) had already tested and then abandoned any future plans to offer online only property auctions.

In that article I also spoke with Strettons, which had no plans to enter the online only method, while iam-sold and Pattinsons were both offering online only auctions as well as their traditional auctions. However, the overall impression was that the online only auction model was unlikely to disrupt the traditional model.

Fast forward just over two years and while it appears, at first glance, that these opinions have changed little, it is interesting to see that one of the largest UK auction houses has made an entrance into the online only auction arena.

Allsop's first online only auction consisted entirely of new-build properties and its first auction, in June 2015, was labelled an 'encouraging success'. Allsops had over 28,000 visitors to the auction and developer websites in the four week period leading up to the auction which resulted in 40% of lots sold within just a few hours and all with contracts fully exchanged.

However, this level of online visitors, which included visitors to the developer websites, is far less than the average number of visitors (127,000) that Allsop has visiting its online auction catalogue for one of its seven traditional auctions held each year.

Allsop reported that 15% of all interested parties originated from outside the UK, allowing the company to broaden its reach for potential buyers and since the online auction closed, the firm says that it received enquiries from several London-based developers with an interest in selling via this platform in the future.

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