Of all the pubs offered for auction this year 70% were successfully sold – that’s according to figures from the Essential Information Group (EIG). This is in comparison to 67% of all pubs that went under the hammer sold in 2010, and two thirds of all pubs entered for auction in 2009 sold successfully. 2010 saw the largest increase in the number of pubs up for auction, with an extra 44% being offered. 2011 so far has met the 437 total number of pubs entered for auction in 2009. Yorkshire and The Humber has seen the highest number of pubs sold against those offered – 83%, with the south east Home Counties following closely behind with 81%. The North West has had the highest number of pubs at auction, 177, and 93 of those pubs sold successfully. Prices reached a peak in London in 2011, however the figures were somewhat shy of the £1m mark. March saw the highest average auction price reaching £940,625, compared to £1.57m in February last year. However, these figures are distorted by Enterprise Inns’ sale and leaseback offers of some of its high-end pubs in London. This was more prominent in 2010 where 40 pubs were offered for a 35-year sale and leaseback agreement, and 10 went unsold. In comparison, 2011 saw 20 sale and leaseback sites go under the hammer, and only five go unsold. The north-east has had the lowest average auction price for the past two years, however this showed slight signs of improvement this year – the lowest average price hit £45,000 in May 2011, compared with £40,000 in December 2010. March proved to be the best month for buying and selling pubs at auction, with 81 put under the hammer and 71 of those selling; and January and August each had five pubs up for auction, of which three sold from each auction. David Sandeman, managing director of Essential Information Group, said: “The figures above relating to pub sales show that against a backdrop of a slowing private treaty market, auctions are becoming increasingly popular with vendors that want to sell, and that the auction process is ideal for finding buyers for correctly priced and marketed lots. This trend has been seen in the auction market for the last two years and is set to continue.”

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