Record year for Bond Wolfe

Property business Bond Wolfe set a new sales record in 2022, smashing through the £200 million barrier.

Chief executive Gurpreet Bassi
Chief executive Gurpreet Bassi

Bond Wolfe, which has its head office in Colmore Row, Birmingham, and offices in West Bromwich and Wolverhampton, finished the year on more than £210m – a 20 per cent increase on 2021.

The business is celebrating 40 years in 2023.

The commercial agency also set a new high, agreeing £60m worth of deals across the UK.

Highlights of the year included the £11.6m sale of Douper Hall in Selly Oak, Birmingham, one of the largest student residential investment sales ever recorded in the West Midlands.

A prominent Birmingham retail parade was sold for £4.7m.

James Mattin, managing director agency, said: “Retail investment sales were the real driver for us in 2022, coupled with notable sales like Douper Hall in the student investment sector. It was pleasing to note the volume of activity despite the turbulent economic climate and the signs remain strong for 2023 so far.”

The auctions division sold 972 lots from the 1,100 offered in 2022, representing a success rate of 88 per cent and raising £150m in sales. This brings the total sales raised since the relaunch of the auctions division in January 2019 to nearly £518m.

Bond Wolfe is the appointed auctioneer for Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Sandwell and Walsall councils and West Midlands Police.

Chief executive Gurpreet Bassi said: “We also act for a large number of major clients, including many of the other local authorities, major banks, LPA (Law of Property) receivers, housing associations, solicitors, estate agents and property companies – as well as the many individuals who regularly chose to sell their properties through our online, live-streamed auctions.

“We are proud to have become the UK’s number one livestreamed auctioneer, having sold more properties via the livestream method than any other auctioneer."

Bond Wolfe has grown from its traditional Midlands marketplace to be recognised as a truly national auction house with a Birmingham base. During 2022, lots from as far afield as Cornwall ranging across the north and south of England, Scotland and Wales, went under the hammer.

One change that did surprise Mr Bassi was clients’ preference for the new world of online, live-streamed auctions.

“In July, we held our first in-room auction for two years in our old regular venue of the Holte Suite at Aston Villa.

“The sale attracted over 1,000 registered bidders online, in-room, telephone and proxy, and featured properties and bidders from London, the North East, North West and across the Midlands, and bidders were also noted from the USA, South Africa and across Europe.”

Whether live or logged on, clients saw 156 lots sold and over £26m raised in sales.

Bond Wolfe offered 189 lots and sold 156 for a success rate of 83 per cent, with the lead up to the auction seeing 659,823 website page views, 152,978 video tours watched, and 39,218 legal documents downloaded.

“However,” said Mr Bassi, “it was clear to us that our clients now preferred the ease of bidding online, and had adapted over the previous two years to the ‘New Normal’ of online auctions.

“So, while we would never rule out returning ‘to the room’, we currently have no plans to change our highly successful formula of seven auctions a year offered via live streaming.”

The business also boosted its services division when it acquired a 50 per cent stake in Robson Property Management, a commercial property management business with offices in London and Birmingham, which acts for property funds, institutions, corporate and private clients, managing a portfolio in excess of £2.5bn.

Mr Bassi added: “We have a number of complementary businesses in the property sector on our radar, and we plan to continue our growth throughout 2023, whether organically or by acquisition.”

Bond Wolfe’s next auction is on Thursday, February 9 from 9.30am.

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