Acuitus commercial property auction raises £16.89m

A High Street Retail parade in the London commuter town of Cheam was among the lots which sold for a total of £16.89m at the Acuitus commercial property auction on March 30th.

The parade at 15-25 High Street – which comprises three shops and 14 flats (all sold off) producing total income of £160,900 – sold for £1.93m. Occupiers include a Sainsbury’s Local and a Costa both of which took new 10-year leases in 2021.

Charlie Powter of Acuitus comments: “We were acting on behalf of joint LPA receivers and it generated a high level of interest from investors who were attracted by the income from well-known traders and the opportunity to invest in London’s affluent commuter-land.

Elsewhere in the sale, a Central London restaurant investment at 253 Old Brompton Road sold for £1.706m at a yield of 3.73%. The five-storey terraced property is entirely let to the well-known Italian restaurant, La Pappardella, until 2024.

In Glasgow, an industrial warehouse investment at Tannochside business park sold for £1.39m at a yield of 8.48%. Situated within a 15 minutes’ drive of Glasgow city centre, the asset has excellent transport links and sits within an established commercial area.

A recently built terraced industrial warehouse investment in Yeovil, Somerset let on a five-year lease sold for £235,000 at a yield of 6.4% and a capital value of £170 per sq ft.

David Margolis of Acuitus comments: “Although this was a small lot size, it demonstrates demand from private investors for clean industrial assets such as this. Accessing the buying power of the private investor may be important for existing owners who are now re-appraising their holdings of industrial assets acquired over the past 5-6 years”

A Burger King drive-thru next to the New Mersey Retail and Leisure Park in Speke, Liverpool let on a new 20-year lease at a rent of £135,000 sold prior to auction for more than £2m at a yield of around 6%.

John Mehtab comments: “Drive-thru investments have always been popular and keenly sought-after by private investors for their long-term secure income – particularly as demand for easy access to fast food shows no sign of abating”.

Acting on behalf of a major pension fund, a two-acre ground rent investment at Parkway East, Bridge of Don, Aberdeen was sold for £1.5m. Two Holiday Inn hotels have been developed on the site but with the tenant having been dissolved, no rent is being paid.

Mhairi Archibald, Acuitus Scottish Consultant comments: “It’s rare to advise on a sale where the tenant company has been dissolved, no rent is being paid and the property is unoccupied. However, as this result showed our auctions can identify buyers and complete successful sales”.

Acuitus Chairman, Richard Auterac, comments: “The auction saw competitive bidding across various commercial property sectors, ranging from High Street Retail, residential conversions, and industrial assets.

“This indicates that despite the well-reported issues surrounding the overseas banking industry, the strength of demand that we saw at the beginning of the year is continuing into the second quarter. Private equity and finance are still available for a wide range of assets.”

The next Acuitus property auction of 2023 will take place on Thursday May 18th and will provide online, telephone and proxy bidding.