Savills provide more proof of online auction success

One of the changes brought on by the Covid crisis is the rapid rise in the popularity of online auctions.

Held on 29th July, Savills fourth remote auction saw £32 million raised with an 82% success rate, ranking it their most successful July auction since 2017.

The result underscores the effectiveness of the live streamed auction sale style, and Savills says there has been a significant increase in average sold price versus the traditional ballroom auction or the countdown style sale.

During strict lockdown auction houses had to innovate in order to ensure their planned sales could go ahead. No physical in person auctions could go ahead so some auction houses chose to go with a countdown style of auction, with multiple lots being sold at once and with viewers being able to follow numbers on a screen.

In a format that it had been developing pre-lockdown, Savills introduced a new virtual format allowing bidders to participate remotely while following the action in real time on a livestream, with the auctioneer taking bids at the virtual rostrum as they would in the auction room.

Since March, the firm has held four remote auctions,  raising a total of almost £91 million overall.

The first one in March took place from one auctioneer’s home and then from June onwards ran from a Savills office with multiple auctioneers at the rostrum. In each case, the auctions replicated the bidding process of the live auction room, with each lot live in turn until the gavel falls.

Jeremy Lamb, Director in Savills Auctions team says, “Interestingly, now we have held four live streamed auctions we can see that our average sold price is over £100,000 higher than at our ballroom auctions. Our success rates are consistent across all price ranges. While the majority of bidders bought through our new online platform, we still had almost two hundred telephone bidders, a function that can only be enabled by the live stream auction style.”

Christopher Coleman-Smith, Head of Savills Auctions says, “The auction went as well as we could have hoped for, having the auctioneer stood at the rostrum, albeit virtually, provides the crescendo and drama for each lot that could otherwise only be found in a busy ballroom – something that feels a long way off in current times. And the benefit for vendors is that, unlike countdown style sales which offer multiple lots at one time, all eyes and attention are on your lot when it is offered to the remote room.”


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