Auctions Barometer: June 2023

Our latest report has revealed that online auctions, particularly non-live formats, have gained popularity and surpassed traditional ballroom auctions, indicating a potential long-term shift away from in-person auctions.

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This report is based on responses to a survey of NAVA Propertymark members conducted between 5–23 May 2023.

Auction practices

We asked NAVA Propertymark members how they conduct their auctions and facilitate the viewing of lots for sale. Top of the list when it comes to modes of auction is online (not-live). 

This quarter, live stream overtook ballroom to take second place in popularity. Though numbers are tight, this suggests that a more permanent move away from ballroom may be imbedding. The rise in popularity of online can be linked to the pandemic and the advantages in terms of cost and inclusivity.

In-person viewing of lots remained the most widespread method used by auctioneers. Still imagery overtook video this quarter in popularity. Again, numbers are tight, and it will be interesting to see how this changes over the coming quarters. 

With 97 per cent of auctioneers reporting they use in-person viewings where possible, it seems imagery and video have no prospect of replacing the chance to see the lot with your own eyes.

The biggest issues facing auctioneers

When it comes to the biggest issues currently facing professionals in the auctioneering industry, several responses related to obtaining payment from buyers post-auction.

Non-payment for purchases not only increases the administrative burden on auctioneers and vendors in preparing for sale again, but purchasers, who do not pay what they promised, can be sued. Settlements can end up being even more than the original cost. Purchasers should be aware of all the costs involved in buying at auction – the final hammer price is not the total price paid. 

Download the full report