The selling of properties via auction is rising in popularity and leading the way within our region is Auction House, the UK’s largest traditional auctioneer. unLTD’s Matt Holmes spoke to Sam Harris, area manager for Auction House South Yorkshire, regarding his recent appearances on Homes Under the Hammer, his expertise in the South Yorkshire property market and what the future holds. 

The ease of purchasing properties via auction, as opposed to the traditional private treaty route is rapidly increasing in popularity and is perhaps something you should consider doing yourself in the future. Bearing that in mind, you might want to know more about the auction experts behind the properties that go under the hammer. Meet the area manager for Auction House South Yorkshire, Sam Harris. Sam has been working in the industry since he was 18, beginning his journey in property dealing with sales and lettings via various estate agents in South Yorkshire and Derbyshire.

So, what made Sam make the leap to auctions? I asked him how Auction House South Yorkshire became the successful business that he now manages, and he told me: “I was always looking to expand my property knowledge so when a position at Auction House came up, I jumped at the chance to learn something new!”

It sounds like it was a good decision, as the rate of buying and selling property at auction has skyrocketed in recent years –  there is a multitude of buyers including budding developers looking to make a tidy profit through to landlords hoping to expand their portfolios. A key benefit of buying and selling at an auction is the speed of sale and the certainty of an immediate exchange. There is no faster way to buy or sell –  whether you are bringing a residential, mixed-use, or commercial property to market or are looking to sell land, an auction is a fantastic option for selling quickly. Typically, after a sale is made, there is an immediate, exchange of contracts then a 28-day fixed time period for legal completion and this agreement is legally binding for both parties. This makes buying or selling via auction a fantastic option if you are under time constraints – for example, if you are relocating, are under financial pressure, or disposing of an investment property.

Sam suggested Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane stadium as a good location for taking photographs to accompany this feature, and other than the fact it makes for a very impressive backdrop, I wondered why there? Not only is Sam a huge Blades fan, but it is also his second home as Bramall Lane Business Hub happens to be the head office of Auction House South Yorkshire. It is where you will find their Livestream auctions taking place, and if they eventually go back to holding in-room auctions, they will be held right there in the suites of Bramall Lane.

I asked Sam if he could give us an expert insight into the current property market as a whole. Sam told me that although you could expect business to be quieter in the summer months, properties at auction are still achieving fantastic returns. He said: “The property market seems to be cooling as we enter the busiest time of year for holidays and with the children being off school. That being said we are still seeing some fantastic prices being achieved for the stock we are listing!”

The typical stock that Auction House South Yorkshire would have in their catalogue are properties that can often be impossible to sell via private treaty but are excellent contenders for selling at auction. It is these auction lots in particular that seem to be attracting the most attention right now and are achieving the best prices in the current market.

“There are a lot of newer developers and property traders coming into the market wanting to try their hand at refurbing and flipping a property for a profit,” said Sam.

For investors looking to purchase a property to add to their portfolio, Auction House South Yorkshire also offers some fantastic opportunities to find an investment that is already tenanted. Meaning the buyer will begin to receive rental income right from the day of completion.

This means that whether you are searching for a property to ‘flip’, buying an investment property for the first time, or simply adding to an existing portfolio, auctions are an excellent route for buyers and sellers alike. Auction creates a level playing field compared to traditional private treaty, as everyone has the opportunity to place a bid and potentially secure their perfect property.

I asked Sam if there is anything affecting the property market right now, both negatively and positively. He told me that in the summer months there is always a negative impact on the property auction market, however, they expect to see the market pick back up towards the end of August and the start of September.

However, the transition from in-person auctions to televised livestream events has enabled Auction House to reach an even wider audience, with people able to join the auction from wherever they are. The livestreams continue to go from strength to strength, with record-breaking numbers being achieved all the time and over a 95 per cent success rate as they were the only auctioneer in South Yorkshire to implement the format over two years ago.

I really wanted to know why South Yorkshire appears particularly popular for buying at auction recently. Sam responded that “Property sales within South Yorkshire have grown exponentially in recent months and South Yorkshire as a whole has always been a favourite location for investors, but we are seeing areas of growth, particularly around Barnsley, Rotherham and Doncaster.”

This is clearly fantastic news for property developers and investors in the region. South Yorkshire has an abundance of housing stock that are perfect candidates to be sold at auction, and if untapped markets across the county can be targeted, then that opens up an even bigger market and potential for redevelopment and investment growth.

One of the most exciting aspects in relation to buying a property at auction is how popular and exciting certain lots can be. Recently, Auction House South Yorkshire offered an end-of-terrace property on Langsett Road in the S6 area of Sheffield. The property had been split into two apartments and needed to be fully renovated throughout. However, as is often the case with terraced properties in this area of Sheffield, the property was leasehold – but with only 15 years remaining on the lease. Auction House guided the property at £35,000 and the lot attracted a huge amount of attention nationwide and saw a flurry of competitive bidding on auction day from buyers all across the country. Astonishingly, it sold for an amazing £162,000 much to the delight and surprise of Sam, the team, and the client!

unLTD readers may recognise Sam’s face as this isn’t his first appearance gracing the pages of the magazine. We first met him in June’s edition where he announced that he was due to feature in an episode of the hit daytime property show Homes Under the Hammer. In this particular episode, we saw Sam valuing a property that was in poor condition in Doncaster, a typical lot that you would expect at auction. Since then, the episode has aired, so of course, I had to ask him how it went.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the whole process,” said Sam. “I didn’t really know what to expect going into the day of filming, but I gave it my all, and, although short, I was pretty pleased with my time on the screen!”

Auction House South Yorkshire are now a regular contributor for Homes Under the Hammer, always keen to showcase any auction opportunities that they have in South Yorkshire and Sam will be featuring in another two episodes before the end of the year. Business is obviously doing well!

Not only is it brilliant for Auction House to be featured on such a popular programme, but it’s great for South Yorkshire as a whole too, showcasing what the region has for anyone looking at selling or purchasing property via auction. If you have ever been tempted to sell or buy a property at auction, chances are you were inspired by watching the show, and if Sam can help inspire a new generation of auction buyers and sellers, then that’s fantastic.

Are you interested in selling a property via auction? Auction House South Yorkshire are now inviting entries for their next livestream event on Thursday, September 8.

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