A growing number of investors are losing confidence in residential property, discouraged by recent tax raises and worries over Brexit, and are opting instead to invest in the commercial property market, according to a UK property auctioneer.

James Emson, managing director of Clive Emson Auctioneers, says that “recent sales have been boosted primarily by commercial investors, as the phasing out of mortgage interest rate relief and introduction of the 3% stamp duty charge on additional homes, including buy-to-let properties, start to take their toll.”

The latest statistics from the company show national auction sales of commercial lots were up 16% last month over the previous year, hitting £190m.

Emson commented for Property Investor Today: “We are noticing a definite trend towards commercial property sales as investors seek to widen their portfolios.

“The increased popularity of commercial lots comes as continuing record low interest rates help boost the market while residential sales are not helped by interest rate relief and stamp duty changes.”

Clive Emson Auctioneers is cataloguing 140 lots for its September auction, which takes place over five days at five regional venues.

The company has sold property worth £15m and achieved a sale rate of more than 70% from 139 lots at the July sale.

Emson added: “With the auction market as a whole still outperforming other property industry sectors I can also heartily recommend our wide and varied selection of residential lots this September as excellent purchases.”