March and April Round-up

67% of auctioned classics currently sell for an average of £12,001 - compared to last month when 74.5% sold and the average price was £37,935

Auctions Commentary from CCFS Market Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

Auctions Commentary from CCFS Market Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

Percentage sold stats are the most accurate weather check for the collector vehicle market. For an independently monitored sale rate reflects whether vendors’ reserves are being met or rejected by consumers. If a car sells, one must presume that a buyer thinks the price paid is right for the condition - whereas, if one fails to sell, then punters present or on-line reckon a particular lot is simply too expensive for them. 

Of the 8 auctions attended in April, sale rates ranged between 73% sold by CCA 1 and 2 April at the NEC and the same percentage by ACA 8 April in King’s Lynn, via 70% at Brightwells Bicester 5 April to 67% by Charterhouse 12 April at Shepton Mallet (although no confirmed prices have been published by Coys for their Westminster sale later that evening) to a less bullish 54% sold Brightwells Modern Classics sale 20 April in Leominster and a bearish 47% Barons sale rate 22 April at Sandown Park.

Final sets of post-sale inclusive prices confirmed by the auction firms reveal that 508 of the 758 classics sold at the April sales monitored and an average of 67% cars auctioned are currently selling. Whilst with £6.1m spent, an average of £12,001 is being currently spent on classics at auction in an economy which would appear to be slowing down.

Whereas during last month, the percentages sold ranged from the 82% achieved by Brightwells Leominster 8 March and 80% apiece at Bonhams Goodwood 19 March and Historics Brooklands 4 March, via 71% in the Richard Edmonds Allington tent 4 April and 67% at H&H Duxford 29 March to 57% at DVCA Athelhampton House 2 March.   

Although less cars sold and less were auctioned during the March sales, when 389 of the 522 classics offered sold, the 74.5% sale rate was higher and so was the £14.76m with premium spent. For the overall total was greatly boosted by the £5.6m Bonhams Goodwood sale total and the £2.6m spent at the Historics Brooklands sale, figures which resulted in the average price paid for a collector car in the UK auctions monitored by me rise to £37,935 per classic.

And finally, regardless of whether they can be driven without potentially costly recommissioning, perceived to be classics with documented and therefore authenticated low mileage and genuinely few owners continue to out-perform cars from the same year at auction.

One of the lowest mileage lots to cross the block lately was a one lady owner Mercedes-Benz SL500, which was purchased from Norman of Mayfair in 1996 as a birthday present and driven just 80 miles before being garaged Knightsbridge by the sole lady owner who mislaid the keys and never drove it again. With just 81 miles on the odometer, the R129 with electro-hydraulic hood and detachable hardtop was hammered at £48,000 by Coys during their latest Westminster sale to an internet bidder, who must therefore have paid £54,300 with the graduated range of buyer’s premium charged by the auctioneers for a classic that was reportedly still “as-new”!

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