Booming Commercial Property Auctions ‘Defying Brexit Vote Uncertainty’

Booming Commercial Property Auctions ‘Defying Brexit Vote Uncertainty’


Activity levels are booming at the UK’s commercial property auctions despite concerns within the wider economy about the potential impact of Britain leaving the European Union.

The ‘Brexit’ referendum in June saw the British public vote in favour of pulling out of the EU and the result had immediate ramifications for the commercial property sector.

Many high profile retail investors pulled their money out of funds invested in British commercial property in the aftermath of the vote and billions of pounds worth of assets were subsequently frozen as investor confidence fell sharply.

Figures compiled by MCSI have also showed that average commercial property values in the UK fell by around 2.8 per cent during July of this year, which was the sharpest such decline recorded since 2009.

But despite these and other potential reasons for pessimism with regard to Britain’s commercial property industry, auction activity around the country is reportedly more vibrant than it has been for years.

Demand is understood to be on the rise among investors in commercial property throughout the country, at least in relation to relatively low profile investments away from prestigious developments such as new office buildings or hotels in central London.

There remains considerable uncertainty, however, about what the future holds for the UK economy, with the country having voted to leave the EU but clarity in short supply on the subject of precisely how the process of exiting the union might unfold.

Nonetheless, property auctioneers, such as ourselves, are seeing an increasing demand and rising activity levels across commercial property auctions.

A key part of the reason for these trends is understood to be the recent slump in the value of the pound, with many overseas investors apparently keen to snap up UK commercial properties at a time when currency conversion rates are unusually favourable from their perspective.


Written by: Rob Limbert on Tuesday 29/11/2016



Leisure, healthcare and education sector expertise boosts Eddisons Taylors valuations team

Leisure, healthcare and education sector expertise boosts Eddisons Taylors valuations team


Eddisons Taylors, the valuations specialist business formed when Eddisons acquired Northampton firm Taylors Business Surveyors and Valuers in December last year, has made two new senior specialist appointments as part of a strategy to grow the business over the coming months. Barry Nickelson re-joins the firm as a director and Simon Hooper comes on board as associate director.

Barry, a specialist in the healthcare and education sectors, joins Eddisons Taylors after eight years as a director of JLL in central London. He was also previously at Taylors for 16 years, from the firm’s foundation in 1992, and has more than 30 years’ experience in valuing operational entities. Over the last decade Barry has specialised in healthcare and education, particularly the children’s day nursery and corporate elderly care sectors in London and the South East.

Simon Hooper, who joins Eddisons Taylors from Edward Symmons, has more than 20 years’ experience of valuing leisure industry property for lending institutions and private clients. His wide ranging expertise includes the valuations of hotels, pubs and restaurants, visitor attractions, marinas, arcades, golf courses, caravan parks and health clubs.

Chris Mitchell, director at Eddisons Taylors, said: “Barry and Simon’s extensive knowledge of the healthcare, education and leisure sectors is second to none and together they add considerable strength and depth to the existing team, not least in terms of the services we are able offer our client base of lenders.

“The UK’s commercial property loan market continues to grow and, thanks in part to low interest rates, is at its strongest since 2008, despite the economic uncertainties surrounding Brexit. With our expanding team and plans for strategic growth, Eddisons Taylors is well placed to capitalise on the current wave of optimism among lenders.”

The two new appointments come in addition to David Cran’s promotion to director in Eddisons Yorkshire-based valuations team. Further valuer recruitment is planned for the coming months.


Written by: Chris Mitchell on Wednesday 16/11/2016



Entire Welsh steel fabrication plant to be sold by auction after closure

Entire Welsh steel fabrication plant to be sold by auction after closure


The entire plant and equipment of a Newport, Wales, steelworks is to be sold in an important online auction in November and December 2016, following the closure of the 10 acre site.

AIC Steel Limited went into administration on 4 October 2016 with the loss of over 100 jobs. AIC Steel Limited was a specialist fabricator within the construction industry of framework and bridges and sports stadia including Ashton Gate stadium in Bristol.

It is anticipated that the online auction which opens mid November, with a view day arranged for the 29 November, will attract buyers from the local vicinity and from around the globe.

Malcolm Good, director of machinery and business assets at auctioneer and valuation specialist Eddisons, said: “This is an important auction that includes upwards of 400 lots ranging from heavy industrial steel fabrication machinery, gantry cranes, welding rectifiers, materials handling equipment, forklifts and commercial vehicles. The machinery is of a very specialist nature and we are hoping to attract buyers from all over the world together with buyers from the UK.

“It was the aim of the administrators to sell the business as a going concern but unfortunately that has not proved possible and the decision to arrange an online auction of the company’s assets was taken at the end of October.”

The lots include machinery by Ficep, Gemini and HG Farley and Cranes by KONE, Barton, Morris and Demag, JCB lifting trucks, Ford vans and trucks and Atlas Copco compressors. Eddisons is currently preparing the auction, cataloguing the lots and arranging advertising throughout the world ready for the auction to go live. Bidding will close on 6 December, from 2pm UK time.

Full details of the auction and a detailed breakdown of the assets can be viewed here.


Written by: Malcolm Good on Friday 04/11/2016



Margate’s Royal School for Deaf Children site goes up for sale

Margate’s Royal School for Deaf Children site goes up for sale


In one of Margate’s largest land sales in recent years, the former site of the UK’s oldest deaf school, the Royal School for Deaf Children which dates back to 1876, has been placed on the market.

The 14.7 acre campus, on Victoria Road and Park Crescent Road, close to Margate town centre, is being marketed by property consultant Eddisons on the instruction of the school’s trustees. The site features around 120,000 sq ft of school buildings, including various residential properties that once accommodated students, and a recently constructed hydrotherapy pool and gym.

The land and buildings, in the rapidly gentrifying coastal resort, are expected to generate high levels of interest among property investors and developers, with recent local land sales achieving upwards of £700,000 per acre.

“We are marketing the site on either a conditional basis, where we will work with a buyer to bring forward their vision for the site, or on a more straightforward unconditional basis,” said Eddisons director James Liddiment. “While there are a number of potential options and uses for the land, all of which will be explored, including an ongoing educational use, we suspect the strongest demand will emanate from residential developers, especially given the shortage of housing stock generally.”

The Royal School for Deaf Children site, which is available for sale as one site or potentially split into separate lots, includes a variety of buildings associated with the school. Among them is the main secondary school complex, which is made up of a vast mix of interconnecting single-storey buildings, and a separate primary school building.

There are also ten residential buildings on the site, all of which have been adapted or constructed for supported living or residential care, and the campus also includes recreational facilities such as sports fields, sensory garden and playgrounds.

Further information on the 14.7 acre campus site is available at


Written by: James Liddiment on Wednesday 26/10/2016



Eddisons delivers new centralised Leeds offices for Church of England

Eddisons delivers new centralised Leeds offices for Church of England


Property consultant Eddisons has completed a major relocation and centralisation project for the Church of England, combining four regional outposts into a new 18,000 sq ft, state-of-the-art head office for the Diocese of Leeds.

The move has seen 100 administrative staff in the Leeds, Wakefield, Steeton and Harrogate offices come together in the diocese’s fully refurbished new home at York Place in Leeds city centre.

Eddisons agency director Steven Jones acquired the self-contained, grade A office building at 17-19 York Place for the diocese in March, when the firm was instructed to find a Leeds city centre building suitable for 100 staff, with meeting and training rooms. The offices were also required to be freehold and no more than ten minutes walk from the train station.

The Eddisons building and project consultancy team, headed by national director Ian Harrington, was also appointed to project manage the entire refurbishment of the building, from initial design concept through to managing the move and ensuring staff made a smooth transition to the new workplace.

Working with creative consultant So Vibrant , construction and interiors specialist Artez, mechanical and electrical specialist NOVO and IT support provider Mansys, Eddisons procured and installed a whole new IT strategy, including platforms, hardware and telecommunications, to create an ultra-modern working environment. Furniture for the new offices was provided by interiors business Southerns.

Solar panels were also installed on the roof of the building in line with the diocese’s green agenda. The scheme includes the ‘Cielo’ – meaning heaven in Spanish – coffee shop at street level, which aims to help the church engage with the wider Leeds community.

Eddisons’ Ian Harrington said; “This has been a major project and it has been immensely satisfying that, as a firm, we have had the opportunity to oversee the creation of the diocese’s new home, from the acquisition of the building right through to overseeing the final details of the refurbishment. The whole team is proud of the smart new 21st century workplace we have delivered for the diocese and its staff.”

The Dean of Ripon, John Dobson, who chaired the diocese’s office project group, said: “We couldn’t have asked for a better outcome and Eddisons have been entirely supportive and helpful every step of the way.

“We are thrilled with our new offices, which are an excellent environment for our staff – fresh, modern and just a stone’s throw from the train station and bus routes. Our new base will further enhance our work for the 471 parishes, 656 churches and 247 church schools that fall within our diocese.”


Written by: Ian Harrington on Thursday 13/10/2016



Yorkshire businesses warned to be vigilant as new commercial property rateable values are announced

Yorkshire businesses warned to be vigilant as new commercial property rateable values are announced


New commercial property valuations released today (30 September) by the Government’s Valuation Office Agency (VOA) have confirmed both rises and falls in the rateable values of commercial properties across the UK, with Yorkshire businesses broadly seeing a drop in the rateable value of their premises.

The figures are the VOA’s official estimate of April 2015 rental values, based on information provided by occupiers or by site visits. Local authorities take the rateable value of each property and use a formula, set by the Government, to calculate new business rates bills which will come into force from April 2017.

“While rents in many Yorkshire towns have decreased since the last time rateable values were calculated seven years ago, there’s an urgent need for businesses to scrutinise the VOA’s new assessment of their property’s rateable value,” said Craig Newton, who heads the rating team at property consultant Eddisons

“If there appears to be any anomalies, such as the stated floorspace of the property being too large, then it’s important to act quickly to rectify matters with the VOA.”

The Government has introduced a new three-step ‘check, challenge, appeal’ process via which businesses can contest the rateable values they have been allocated. “That may sound like an efficient and sensible enough approach,” said Mr Newton, “but the fly in the ointment is the chronic underfunding and understaffing of the VOA , which already has an estimated backlog of between 200,000 and 300,000 appeals to deal with, submitted by businesses against the 2010 Rating List.”

He added: “With such an enormous volume of outstanding cases it’s clear that appeals against 2017 rateable values are highly unlikely to receive priority treatment. With this in mind, the best advice – if you think the rateable value you have been issued for your property is too high – is to engage in dialogue with the VOA as rapidly as possible.

“Do seek professional advice on this though as attempting to deal with such an impenetrable and bureaucratic organisation as the VOA is definitely not for the faint hearted. A ratings expert will be able to start the process of making representations on your behalf, which may enable the matter to be resolved without becoming a full-blown appeal, saving both time and expense for your business.


Written by: on Friday 30/09/2016



Eddisons’ famous five take on triathlon for Yorkshire Air Ambulance

Eddisons’ famous five take on triathlon for Yorkshire Air Ambulance


A five-strong team of intrepid colleagues from property consultant Eddisons competed in the Brownlee Triathlon at Harewood House on 24 September to raise £850 for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. Ian Harrington, Joseph Fitzsimmons, Jack Cooper, Chris Nettleton and Glenn Levison all took part in the Super Sprint event which saw the team swim 400m and cycle 13km before a final 3km run.

Ian Harrington, head of building and project consultancy at Eddisons, said: “We’d all been in training to prepare for this although I think it’s fair to say that some of us were in slightly better shape than others!”

He added: “The main thing is that we raise as much money as we can to support the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, which provides such a vital service. They are completely funded by charitable donations and need over £4m a year to keep their two ambulances in operation, so if we can help towards achieving that total then all our efforts will have been well worth it.”

The Eddisons triathlon team has raised £850 so far with a target of £2,500. To sponsor them, go to


Written by: Ian Harrington on Wednesday 28/09/2016



Huge range of Bradford College equipment up for grabs at auction

Huge range of Bradford College equipment up for grabs at auction


More than 600 individual lots of ophthalmic, plumbing and heating, laboratory and hair and beauty equipment, are to be auctioned off ahead of Bradford College’s ongoing relocation to its new £60m David Hockney campus in the city.

The online auction, held by Eddisons whose national auction centre is based in Bradford, will take place on 21 September, with viewing on 20 September at the college’s Appleton Science Building on Tumbling Hill Street.

The vast array of college equipment up for sale includes ophthalmology and scientific laboratory apparatus, from test tubes to full work stations. Plumbing items such as hot water tanks and air conditioning units will also go under the hammer, along with office furniture and a full canteen of cookers, dishwashers and other catering equipment. A range if hairdressing and beauty therapy items such as hair rollers and dryers will also feature in the auction.

Jason Pinder, director of machinery and business assets at Eddisons, said: “We are auctioning a really wide selection of the college’s equipment, much of which is in excellent condition. As well as the many large items there are also lots of small bits pieces of kit and there will certainly be bargains to be had so it’s well worth having a look at our online auction site to check out exactly what’s on offer.”

He added: “The auction will raise valuable funds for Bradford College as it continues its relocation to its state of the art new campus that has become one of the symbols of the city’s regeneration.”

Further information on the auction is available from Eddisons at


Written by: on Monday 19/09/2016



Eddisons sells Featherstone warehouse in £2m deal

Eddisons sells Featherstone warehouse in £2m deal


Eddisons has sold a 39,000 sq ft warehouse investment at Featherstone’s Green Lane Industrial Estate near Wakefield for almost £2m. The building, home to NHS supplier Healthcare at Home, has been sold to Bilfinger GVA client, warehousing business Onward Holdings.

Family-run Onward specialises in operating northern industrial warehousing and retail parks. Its other sites include Castleford, Doncaster, Ackworth and Scunthorpe as well as the busy Onyx Retail Park at Wath upon Dearne near Rotherham.

Junction Point, on a 2.3 acre site and with 10,400 sq ft of offices and 29,000 sq ft of warehouse space is let to Healthcare at Home, the home medical services business that cares for cancer patients and others, at a rent of £120,000 per annum on a ten-year term that began in 2014. Eddisons, and Ian Errington, partner in Blacks Solicitors’ property team, acted on behalf of the vendor.

Steven Jones, associate agency director at Eddisons, said: “Properties generating this scale of return and with a good lease length are becoming increasingly scarce right across Yorkshire, especially with the excellent transport links that Junction Point enjoys, just two miles form the M62.

“At a 6 per cent net initial yield, the building was an excellent prospect from an asset management perspective and we are really pleased to have completed the sale for very close to the asking price.”
He added: “It’s encouraging now the dust is beginning to settle post referendum and we are seeing transactions concluding and some much needed momentum returning to the market.”


Written by: Steven Jones on Wednesday 10/08/2016



Eddisons and Gordons close on £2.4m of Harrogate property deals

Eddisons and Gordons close on £2.4m of Harrogate property deals


Property consultant Eddisons and law firm Gordons have completed two commercial property investment transactions within a week in Harrogate, with a combined value of £2.4m.

On Cheltenham Parade in the town, the building that is home to Harrogate culinary institution, Graveley’s fish and chip shop and seafood restaurant, has been sold to property investor and developer Marrtree for £970,000.

In addition to the restaurant, which is let to Graveleys, the first and second floors of the property contain five apartments and the building produces an annual rental income of £73,400.

Eddisons has also sold serviced office hub, Harrogate Business Centre, on Hookstone Avenue, to Andrew Hillas Properties, for £1.45m. Established over 30 years ago, the 11,500 sq ft space includes 46 offices and two workshops and has a 95 per cent occupancy rate.

Eddisons acted on behalf of the vendors on the sale of both properties. Steven Jones, associate agency director, said: “The property market in Harrogate is buoyant and the town’s desirability as both a place to live and to work gives it an edge over other nearby locations.

“The Harrogate leisure scene is particularly vigorous at present, with a number of national operators moving in.”

He added: “Needless to say, this cultural and economic resilience makes Harrogate a popular option for property investors and there is always an appetite in the market for new investment opportunities.”

Simon Mydlowski, partner at law firm Gordons, who acted on behalf of both purchasers, said: “We are very happy to have been able to advise Marrtree and Andrew Hillas Properties on these successful acquisitions. Both businesses have a strong reputation as leading property developers and it was a pleasure to work with them to secure these deals.”

Andrew Hillas Properties was represented by Bielby Associates and WSB Property Consultants represented Marrtree.


Written by: Steven Jones on Wednesday 20/07/2016