Days to the General Election: 39
See Party Policies here. Party Lists here.

Hard to value Auckland waterfront apartment with two car parks sells for $84,000

Hard to value Auckland waterfront apartment with two car parks sells for $84,000
The view from the balcony of the apartment in the Scene One building that sold for $84,000.

There was an interesting auction at Ray White City Apartments in Auckland this week.

There were only three properties on offer but they were an interesting mix.

All were located in the CBD. One was a unit in the Volt building on the corner of Queen Street and Mayoral Drive, another was a leasehold unit in the Scene One complex on Beach Road at the bottom of town, and the third was a car park in the Focus building on Anzac Ave.

So although they weren't big in number, they were a reasonable cross section of the CBD market.

The Volt building has been a favourite with investors since it was built because of it's location on Queen St and being a stone's throw from the local tertiary institutions.

The unit on offer was 40 square metres with two bedrooms and a balcony and was rented at $460 a week.

Rates were $1207 a year and the Body Corporate levy another $4569.

There were several bidders for this unit and it sold under the hammer for $320,000.

According to it had been purchased from $225,000 in 2008 and had a 2017 rating valuation of $360,000.

The second unit on offer was an 87 square metre, two bedroom/two bathroom apartment with two car parks in the Scene One building on Beach Road. It has spectacular views across Auckland's waterfront and harbour but also several issues that would have had an adverse affect on its price.

Firstly it was on a leasehold title with the ground rent up for review but not yet set, which meant there would likely be a significant increase from the current $8316 a year, on top of operating expenses of $6356 a year and rates of $2078. It also had unresolved remediation issues. The page for the property on Ray White's website summed the vendor's situation when it stated, "Our offshore owner has said 'it needs to go, I've had enough'."

There was considerable speculation about the price that might be achieved for the unit since reported that a one bedroom plus study unit with a car park and harbour views in the same building had sold for $20,000 last month.

Bidding on the Scene unit opened at $40,000 and in spite of the property's unknowns (who much the new ground rent would be, the cost of remediation) several potential buyers had a go with two in particular duking it out, often increasing their bids in just $500 increments, until the last man standing bought it for $84,000.

According to the unit had been purchased for $420,000 in 2004 and had a 2017 rating valuation (freehold) of  $810,000.

Interestingly the price achieved for the Scene unit was slightly below the price achieved for a single car park just up the road in the Focus building on Anzac Ave, which attracted multiple bids and sold under the hammer for $88,000.

At the other main apartment auction of the week, City Sales had four units on offer and sold two of them - a studio in the Farmers Heritage building on Hobson St which went for $300,000, and a leasehold, one bedroom, penthouse unit at Viaduct Harbour that went for $150,000.

Details and photos of all of the properties offered at both auctions are available on our Residential Auction Results page.

The comment stream on this story is now closed.

Below: the interior of the apartment in the Scene One building that sold for $84,000.

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current comment policy is here.


Car parks are likely to prove a sound investment in Auckland, over the years to come.


That really depends on whether self drive tech gets going.

Self-driving cars being mainstream is still many, many years away

It turns out self-driving cars were just another in a long list of fantasies sold to us by the likes of Elon Musk. I seem to remember being told by 2020 they'd be a reality. In truth we aren't even close.

Add self-driving cars to the debunked "the robots will take all the jobs" narrative.

Interesting, id consider self drive cars a certainty within the next couple decades.

When they do appear on our motorways, I will be the guy that drives close to them, in front, behind, and beside, just to have the fun of watching them take unnecessary evasive action! My suspicion is that independent, individual, driver controlled transportation is too much fun for too many people to be able to stop it. Unless the usual loud, puritan, fun police minority manage to trick governments into regulating and banning it. That is also the only way the next step, driverless cars, will be able to exist.

"I'm going to intentionally try to make machines malfunction, probably causing violent crashes leading to many injuries and deaths. Curse the fun police for trying to prevent this!"

Our cities will become increasingly car-less because they won't be able to grow otherwise.

TTP, you just showed your age pal. Driving a Holden or a Ford?

You're sure about that guwop? Cause I see Auckland growing massively AND the number of cars growing as well

I would hope so Yvil. I can't see Auckland growing up (into the sky) for example with an increasing amount of cars on the ground. Something's gotta give.

What's the bet you live in a detached house and drive your car frequently, if not for your commute?

I've noticed this about some of my fellow kiwis. They're very keen to prescribe that other people should live in apartments, but would never countenance such a thing themselves.

Immigrants coming here also want a detached house. Apartments are for students, yopros and oldies. That's it.

The thing is, having a car park sized piece of tarmac in the middle of a big city will probably be a very good investment regardless of the public transportation developments. There will always be "VIP" who would rather pay thousands per month to not have to get on a bus.
Some people in NYC are paying 1 million USD for a car park:

Guwop, you won't be surprised to hear, he has told us he drives a Hillman.

Hi guwop,

Nah, dislike Aussie petrol guzzlers.....

They're worse than over-priced, unreliable German cars.

Give me a Hillman Hunter any day.


Depends on how many homeless people you can fit in them.

Car parks are generally designed to be partially open to the weather from the get go whereas apartments in Akl become open to the weather over time.(anywhere between final settlement to the following week).

Carparks...try a carstacker! me whats stuff is worth with no capital gain. Carparks are worth more. Its all about the yield...yeah right.


Scene Apartment - egregious leasehold, ugly as sin, offshore owner who may never have set foot in NZ ( is it a leaker as well?). What a sordid tale. Whoever designed, constructed and financed this pile of excrement should be named and shamed.

I think the Buyer overpaid on this one. It is probably worth a negative amount, given the future re-clad commitments.

This is highly likely. Remediation is costly and can take a long time. If there is a claim on top of this then the process will be dragged out for a long time. The purchaser has likely bought a problem that won't go away for years and overpaid on top of that.

Slums in waiting. What a shame. Could be a great part of town with some smarter planning and responsible investing.

I have a friend who owns an apartment in the Scene building, quite nice with direct access to the tennis court. The complex is leaking, all owners have to contribute to the multi million repair costs. The legal fees alone are over $ 1 Million and counting. Then there's the ground rent going up. It's a nightmare. He just wants out he paid low $600k, he says he'll accept 60k...

I feel for those trapped in this, hammered from all angles. The brutal reality is if they had bought a house in the suburbs for the same amount that would likely be worth $1.2m+. Never buy apartments, no exceptions.

Agreed, especially given the number of cranes on the skyline and the number of soon to be finished apartment complexes.

It is the same in Queenstown. Not one apartment building in the history of the town has been built properly. Only buy freehold, one unit, with a bit of dirt right round the house. Have the roof bigger than the house, and only have spoutings on the outside. Also there is a special place in hell for anyone who has anything to do with designing and building bathrooms and toilets with no external opening windows!

That's brutal, eh. In some ways it seems given what was said about leasehold originally versus what's known now that it was partly bad luck in timing. A fair few people got caught in what turned out afterward to be a rather awful situation.

Leasehold doesn't have to be sinister. It's not in London where ground rent is very low and there are regulations preventing predatory behaviour. Body Corporate is another story though, these are often the most valuable part of the construction and can trade at many multiples in the secondary market. If you run the body corporate you have unlimited pricing power.

True. I guess if you wrap protections around it.

Thinking back, my parents' first place was leasehold but it was NZ government leasehold, part of ongoing government initiatives to get more houses built, boost supply and make home ownership more accessible to NZers. Back before MPs went full on "My portfolio!" mode.

The Owners run the Body Corporate, so I doubt they are willing to inflict large unwarranted costs on themselves. The BC secretary is a bloodsucking leach, but the owners can kick them too the curb if the fees get too high.
The Body Corporate cannot be sold/traded.

but is normally hijacked by the biggest busy bodies in the building, most people in the building could not care less as long as the fees are kept down and the rules not to stupid

Now that is very true.

Wow, that is harsh. Even split 100 ways that's $10k a unit just on lawyers.

Not quite as bad as Parnell Terraces, but then I guess they haven't got the repair bill yet.

I was involved with one of these and the Lawyer was billing around 100k per month (he is only a 1 man band) for nearly 3.5 years to prep and go to arbitration.

I think this kind of situation will be common after the current building boom unfortunately, as it is becoming in Sydney right now with new apartment buildings. We’ll be saying, how could we let this happen again after the leaky homes saga? In the rush (in the supposed shortage) to build it’s all about numbers rather than quality and building standards it seems.

There is a saying in french which roughly translates to:
"There are 2 types of FLAT roofs, the ones that leak and the ones that don't leak… yet."
When it comes to water tightness, gravity is your friend, a pitched roof with eaves is far less likely to leak (I'm an Architect)

Unbelievable to myself why anyone would’ve bought into those apartments in the first place, being leasehold, with a body corporate!
It is a no go zone for any property investor with an ounce of intelligence.
Don’t know what the original costs would’ve been but seriously, you shouldn’t be buying property when there are costs that can and will escalate with no control.
There is no way this would ever have been any part of being a good investment when your outgoings were going to be crazy.
Before anyone buys a property investment, if you are not educated enough, then talk to a successful property investor for the correct advice.

But but but, It met everything that you preached; it's way way below market value, whoever bought it would be massively positively geared, fees may be tax deductible, tenant will be lining up to rent being central CBD.. what could go wrong..? Unless you count on capital gain.

"Unbelievable to myself why anyone would’ve bought into those apartments"

Being a Cantabrian you don't understand indeed. Its quite simple, as a buyer with a budget under $1 Mill in Auckland the choice is:
- buy a house far from town & get stuck in traffic for 1 hour twice a day
- buy an apartment in town.
But yes, agreed, leasehold ain't good, leasehold + leaky building is catastrophic

"Unbelievable to myself why anyone would’ve bought into those apartments"

Being a Cantabrian you don't understand indeed. Its quite simple, as a buyer with a budget under $1 Mill in Auckland the choice is:
- buy a house far from town & get stuck in traffic for 1 hour twice a day
- buy an apartment in town.
But yes, agreed, leasehold ain't good, leasehold + leaky building is catastrophic

For the first 10 years there was a ground rent holiday, meaning the owners didn't pay it or very little. That ended in 2014. I was renting a place in the Docks building next door and the owner freaked out once he found out the new ground rent (around 15k if I remember right) and tried to sell me the place at a freehold price...
I find it unbelievable that the land owners (Ngati Whatua Orakei) can increase the ground rent as they please.

You can't possibly be a real architect. You talked simple, non rocket science, common sense! Most architects I have had to deal with want buildings that look cool in their CV photographs, and to hell with being practical, simple and sensible. I have had to literally force some to do the right thing for me.

Haha, I have to admit I have designed several flat roofed buildings for the sake of architectural style

Your access to our unique content is free - always has been. But ad revenues are under pressure so we need your direct support.

Become a supporter

Thanks, I'm already a supporter.

Days to the General Election: 39
See Party Policies here. Party Lists here.