A property auctioneer based in Peterborough is celebrating its best start to the year despite a background of rising interest rates and political uncertainty.
Bosses of The Auction House East Anglia, in Stuart House, in St John’s Street, say people are still opting invest in property even though further interest rate hikes are expected, which will increase the cost of borrowing.
New figures released by The Auction House show that between January and March it sold a record 892 properties from 1063 offered and raising a total of £137,849,799.
That is a success rate of 83.9 per cent with the number of sales up 6.5 per cent on its previous best-ever first quarter last year, when the group sold 838 lots from 1042 offered – raising £132,683,102.
Gary Davison, regional manager, said: “This is another remarkable set of figures from Auction House – especially considering the wider economic position the market was facing at the time.
"Since December, we’ve had three consecutive rises in the Bank of England base rate – from just 0.1 per cent in December last year to a more substantial 0.75 per cent now, taking it back to pre-Covid levels.
He said: “Ordinarily in such circumstances, you would expect higher interest rates to encourage people to save more because they get a higher return, and borrow less because it‘s expensive – especially for those on variable rate mortgage deals, of course.
“And yet this year, these interest rate increases don’t seem to have been affecting buyer demand, which has remained strong throughout.
"This may have been the first back-to-back increase since 2004, but it was also our best-ever first quarter and our best-ever March too.”
Mr Davison added “Even if continuing inflation means that we should expect to see further interest rate rises this year – perhaps as soon as the next meeting of the Bank of England
Monetary Policy Committee meeting on May 5.
"Nevertheless, we firmly believe the market will continue its robust stance, as it has during the first three months of the year.”