Oliver Childs BidX1
Industrial assets are outperforming others classes, says Oliver Childs

Auctioneer BidX1 expands into industrial sector

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Nicholas Fearn

Online property trading platform BidX1 has unveiled plans to offer industrial sales after securing investment last year. Looking to bolster its digital offering, the firm said it will list several industrial properties on its website for the first time.

In September, BidX1 announced it had raised undisclosed “strategic investment” from private equity house Pollen Street Capital to aid growth. The company will invest between £10m and £15m in acquisitions and expansion plans.

Founded in Dublin in 2011 as Allsop Space, BidX1 allows people all over the world to buy or sell property in the UK or Ireland through its website. To date, it’s sold over 8,000 assets and raised €1.4bn from 185 countries.

Oliver Childs, head of commercial auctions at BidX1, said:  “We’re seeing a high demand for industrial lots as this asset class continues to outperform most other sectors.”

He claims that this “reflects the boom in e-commerce and business owners requiring warehouse space to accommodate diverse business models.”

As part of its investment drive, BidX1 hired Oliver Childs and the auction team from property consultancy Lambert Smith Hampton to develop its commercial auctions arm. LSH then moved online-only and launched its rival to BidX1, called 574, in January.

LSH launches online auction platform 574

A diverse lot

BidX1 has kicked off its first digital auction of 2019 with 89 lots, including 14 commercial and 75 residential properties with an average price of £244,382. Many of these lots are industrial units based in Manchester, the West Midlands and Kent.

One example is a freehold investment currently let to a specialist MOT centre that produces over £35,000 per year and expires in 2028. Another industrial asset is a freehold investment that has been let to Pre-Hospital Advanced Care Team in Willenhall and that produces an annual income of £13,000.

BidX1 said there “continues to be investment opportunities within other commercial sectors” and a “ healthy appetite for residential property”.

Speaking to PlaceTech about the expansion, Childs added: “As a digital auction house, one of the key priorities at BidX1 is to truly understand our buyer’s needs and we have found from experience this is predominantly driven by asset type, location and price.

“While a high number of investors will pursue asset management opportunities across all sectors, it is clear that in the current climate the industrial sector is now more sought after than ever.

“There is pent up demand with an under supply of assets available for sale, especially those under the £3 million threshold, which is the sweet spot for the private investor.

He added: “Our ambition is to integrate ourselves more closely into the industrial sector marketplace as BidX1 continues its expansion.

“Our flexible digital auction platform allows us to operate across all asset classes, with the ability to provide bespoke auctions if required, so that we may continue to feed the private investor appetite for commercial property investment.”

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