Properties in Auckland's leafy central suburbs were the top sellers at Barfoot & Thompson's latest auctions

Properties in Auckland's leafy central suburbs were the top sellers at Barfoot & Thompson's latest auctions

There was little change in activity levels at Barfoot & Thompson's auction rooms last week, with the real estate agency handling 91 auction properties in the week from 7-13 October, compared to 93 the previous week.

The overall sales rate was slightly higher at 54% last week compared to 48% the week before.

However there was a wide variation between the sales rates at the bigger auctions where at least 10 properties were offered, with 38% selling at the Manukau auction which catered to properties in south and east Auckland, and 60% selling at the Shortland Street auction on October 10 where a mix of properties from central and west Auckland suburbs were offered.

A similar sales rate was achieved at the North Shore auction where 58% were sold, and the sales rate was 47% at the Shortland St auction on October 9, where most of the properties offered were from central suburbs such as Meadowbank, St Heliers, Epsom and Ponsonby.

Details of the individual properties offered and the results achieved are available on our Residential Auction Results page.

Details of recent commercial property sales are available on our Commercial Property Sales page.

The comment stream on thsi story is now closed.

Barfoot & Thompson Residential Auction Results 7-13 October 2019
Date Venue Sold Sold Prior Sold Post Not Sold Postponed Withdrawn Total % Sold
7-13 October On-site 4     3     7 57%
8 October Manukau 7 1   11   2 21 38%
8 October Shortland St 4     3 1   8 50%
9 October Shortland St 9     9 1   19 47%
9 October Pukekohe 2           2 100%
10 October North Shore 9 2   7 1   19 58%
10 October Shortland St 5 1   4     10 60%
11 October Shortland St 4 1         5 100%
Total All venues 44 5   37 3 2 91 54%

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91 auctions... compared to 200 in the same week last year.
49 sales... compared to 68 last year.

Some agents must be working through their stores of canned food.

Any comparison that you want to make to that year ago is based on the premises that the market is the same, and that auctions have equal preference and appropriateness.
As such any inference you want to make is very suspect.
As I have commented previously, deadline tenders (which are de facto auctions) seem to be gaining in popularity and probably a reflection of a change in the market.
Your implied inference that the Auckland market is in the doldrums is clearly incorrect - REINZ figures released yesterday show volumes YOY for Auckland were 6.3% higher. You seem to be clutching at straws.


Warning, graphic content!

1. Auckland Median since 2016
2. Auckland Volume since 2016
3. Auckland Volume since 2012

Interestingly, REINZ HPI for Auckland was down YoY. Good news for younger Kiwis.

Factoring in inflation, that's an 8.3% fall in the median.

"Any comparison that you want to make to that year ago is based on the premises that the market is the same"

So, I'm not allowed to make a reference to the previous corresponding period from *one* year ago... "cOz mArKeT nOt tHe sAMe"
Meanwhile, your like-minded posters are trying to convince everyone that a 10 year property clock exists based on spurious analysis of the past *30* years.

I'm producing context, because without it WTH does 91 auctions, 49 sales and 54% clearance rate mean to me in isolation? Nothing.
REINZ's stats were for September - everyone's pumping up the arrival of spring - apparently spring doesn't arrive in property land until October. So as far as I'm concerned, September is ancient history - I want to know if spring has arrived or not *now*.

Yeah, more deadline tenders, so what?
Every agent's first port of call for a sales process is auction in a hot market (easy, less work) - are you trying to tell me that more deadline sales is not, in of itself, a market indicator?.

It's easy. When you compare Auckland to any other city in the world, Auckland's diffrunt. When you compare this year's (month's, week's, day's?) market to any other point in time, the market's diffrunt.

"the market's diffrunt..."

Yeah totally different period on period.
Except over the long run... then it's a metronomic clock.

DGMs often compare Auckland affordability to other major international cities, but fail to account for important differences.

For example, I've seen it claimed that Auckland (with a 9.0 income multiple) is less affordable than London (with a multiple of only 8.3). You can get something like this for £1M in London - Not that different from your average Auckland house - 3 bedrooms with a yard, nice but not fancy. This is more than 27 times average household income in the UK. This may be the average house in Auckland, but it is not the average house in London. The average house in London is a terraced unit. If you want to buy an average Auckland house in London you need to be very well off.

Joke. Average 3 bed in UK is made of brick or stone or both, with wood etc.
Average 3 bed in Auckland is made of wood and is poorly heated and is priced $750k or above.
Median price in NZ outside of Auckland is over $575k I believe.
Check median price in UK outside of London. Then we might have some valid comparisons.
How much time have you spent in UK, outside of London and how much travelling have you done there?


I'm referring to London in comparison to Auckland.

I've lived in London.

Differences in construction materials and insulation count for only a small fraction of the price variance between London and Auckland.

Here is a typical Auckland house, 65 Chartwell Ave, Glenfield, NZ$910K. Something like 9x median household income. How much would this same property cost in London? Much more than 9x London household income.

Settle down.
Your basis for making a comparison is questionable and as such should be challenged. I have no problem with any comparison provided one is comparing like, and your assumption that both the market and marketing preferences are the same is suspect.
Clearly that upsets you.

Why is it questionable?

All my first post contained, quite literally, was a comparison of two headline numbers this week to exactly the same week last year.

If you've noticed, I've done exactly this for probably the past 8 weeks straight on Barfoots weekly auction releases - because I feel like it's useful context.
But you're saying I'm implying and making assumptions about something this week?

Yep. The market is still weak and flattish. Nothing remarkable either up or down and it's likely to be like this for a while until the next recession arrives and there's no OCR ammo left to prop up the market as per previous recessions.
Then all bets are off.

Also the 6.3% YOY growth in volumes you're touting took volumes to 1,821 sales in Auckland for September 2019.

For context (coz I like context) sales volume was 2,321 in September 2016.
So it's *still* down 21% on 3 years ago.

But, yeah, yeah I'm the one clutching at straws.

Cmat, The *one* year ago volume growth is 6.3 percent, why are you ignoring this and trying soo haard to reframe it??

Sorry to repeat ad nauseam (!)but sales have to be taken in context of total stock, which is rising.
So, if sales are lower than 3 years ago, and stock has risen (say 35,000?) in that time and was originally 500,000 (for sake of illustration, as census not on this yet) then stock is up 7% and sales are down MORE as a % of increased stock level. This is v seldom stated.

Patently bleeding obvious but sales are falling because of OBB and prices being too high.

A little context:

6m sales, residential only, Auckland, March-August 2019.
Compared to 2018, down 10%

However, July and August, same group: up 26% on 2018.
Same 2 months compared to 2017: down 10%

Apartment sales under $800k in 6m period, 2019: 968.
Apartment sales in same period of 2018, under 800k: 1579. In 2017: 1232.

My point is: a lot more apartments are being built. But in this price bracket, 38.6% fewer sold

If you have more stock of something and its selling a lot less and you keep building more, unless what you are building is all pre-paid, you are storing up trouble.

Residential sales over $1.3m in Auckland in 6m block of 2019: 2013.
In 2018 it was 2575.
In 2017: 2461
So, 2019 6m sales (total residential) 18% down on 2017. And 22% down on 2018.
But 2m sales much better than 2018, though still 10% lower than 2017.

Seems like there was a dearth of sales in July/August 2018 and this was made up for in October sales.
So, October 19 sales figures will be v interesting.
Anecdotal reflections of Agents and other commentators about pick up in market in July and August 2019 have proven accurate.

We will need to see if this continues.

Residential sales pcm in Jan-Aug 2019 period in Auckland ran at 1625 pcm
Sept 18 to Aug 19 it was 1679.

That is remarkably similar to pcm rate applicable in Jan 2008 - Dec 2011 (1669) which was last time market was as subdued for such a long period.

Surprised July & August so much higher than last year (26%)

These weekly auction results from Barfoots have consistently been lower year-on-year.
And Barfoot sold exactly the same number for July-Aug in 2018 and 2019 (1,625).

Given their market share I would have thought they are representative of all of Auckland, appears not based on your data.

@mikekirk29 - TM2 will be here shortly to refute your data... ;-)

And point out that he is a real estate agent!!! Or isn't!!! Whatever the case is, we cannot trust him!!!

Who can you trust then? What's missing from these threads is a picture of what's going on with actual buyers and sellers. Poring over the entrails of auctions adds limited value if you don't know the individual properties. I suspect that successful agents are far too busy working to stop by and post their secrets here. What I'm hearing from a local agent is that they don't have enough stock of what sells e.g. quality single site family homes and you cant sell what you haven't got.

Last Wednesdays auction results for Eastern Suburbs.

4 sold 5 unsold so it does indeed reflect very low numbers. Will be interesting to get the latest sales data from Bayleys as their data indicates which agency sold the property.

The devil is in the detail and I only really take notice of the sales prices for each property sold in my area and also how long it has taken to sell. Waimarie Street in St Heliers has about 6 house for sale all in the $2.5m+ price band and all surrounding a very large plot of bare land which will soon become a Retirement Village - so looking ahead years of building work noise, mess, diggers and tradies trucks parked everywhere.

Good ploy.
Bayleys definitely have the best report.
Clear that volumes are way off at the top in those reports.

Funny on Waimarie - they all are expecting top dollar too.
Banking on potential purchasers not knowing / doing DD on what's going on there.

And TTP along to say market looking remarkably resilient, could be a good summer, let's wait and see.

or tell you to go away in no uncertain terms......

Chairman, what a silly thing to say!
Where have I been refuting Mike Kirk’s data?
I questioned whether he was still a practicing salesperson as it appears he is not!

What he does is his business, is that anything to do with you though? This s a public forum and free for all.. Or does one need to be qualify to say something? What a strange man (or woman or thing)..!

Chairman, should be operating on contributors and posters telling the truth!

I see Stuff are running a story that TradeMe asking prices in Auckland slump again...

Make of it what you will.....

Ive often said that the ones that aren't selling tell a bigger story that the ones that do...

Hi BadRobot,

The obvious thing that's slumped around here........ is the credibility of the DGM.


How so.....

which means they had credibility in the first place, something you were never blessed with

The obvious thing that's slumped around here........ is the credibility of the DGM

The DGM is the antichrist to Ashley Church's messiah.

One of the problems with property and mainstream beliefs is that much of it is faith based.

And it's very easy to control the faith in the masses: just ask Destiny Church or look at The Hosk's bag of emotional hooks.

And just like any religion nonsense can be spun based on a whole lot of spurious arguments masquerading as 'reason'

Then I saw her face NOW I'm a believer...

The nonsense of comments is limitless it seems. Sad that a good business website gets ruined by ridiculous posts

Start behaving proper it's not a gd look

The warning is there

NZ might be duffurent and we won't get caught in the net. Some will say buying in CHCH under market value and you can't go wrong, plus house price will double every 7-10 years.

Chairman, you can buy in any place in NZ under market value, and that is where the money is made.

I rephrase that "you can buy in anything anywhere under market value, and that is where the money is made"

That isn't where the money is made lol. Skimming 20k to 100k off a buy price is nothing compared to growth over 30 years. If buying undervalue is where the money is made, then its because you are a trader and need to pay your taxes.

To give you one example; a colleague of mine is a watch collector. He's regularly buying limited edition watches; his latest is the new Rolex Submariner blue, he paid 16K for it new and then 6 moths later he sold it for 25K and there is waiting list..!

No, you make money when you buy a property rather than when you sell.
For an investor that buys under true market value, the yield is so much better over a long period of time.
Of course you will obtain capital gain when you sell after a number of years, however you will have got capital gain as well on a house that you paid market value for as well.

TM2 I don't always agree with your brash comments but you are 100% right, it shows you are actually an investor, not a theoretical talker. Buying overpriced can take years to recover from, likewise buying under value puts you way ahead of the pack.

Yvil, what so-called brash comments that you think I make, do you not agree with??

Buying overpriced can take years to recover from, likewise buying under value puts you way ahead of the pack.

I think you've captured what worries buyers in today's Auckland market. Three years of slightly downtrending median price now. If the buyer is lucky then it's not a long slow deflation of the balloon. If they're unlucky, it is. So they need to buy carefully and ensure they can handle a downturn AND not necessarily need to trade up too soon (for lifestyle reasons) in the event of declining equity. In a market where NZ has been blown up by an injection of foreign capital and that global economists call heavily overpriced.

E.g. buying an $800k+ apartment in a market with surging supply and significantly declining YoY demand (sales numbers) could take a while to recover from.

In some dictionaries you'll find a photo of The Man 2 next to the entry "Dunning-Kruger".

I think you're spot on here. If you happen to secure a good deal when when purchasing a property you'll get some additional profit when you sell, but in most cases this will just be icing on the top of much more substantive long-term capital gain.

I agree with both of you to a certain extent. Buying well located property at a great price is going to be fine over the long term (15-20 years) in NZ. However, I think in NZ now is one of those times that it's best to wait a while to purchase. It might just be quite a few years before seeing decent capital gains buying now in much of NZ. Wait a while and it might be quicker. Fine if you've bought a while ago, but it's a very unusual time, in Australia too. I see even Mr Australian real estate John now-is-always-the-best-time-to-buy McGrath quietly sold off his last property recently.

Fair enough. As long as waiting a while doesn’t become waiting forever.

VOR. It is fine to downsize a portfolio, pay off some/all debt and strengthen the balance sheet.

DD, you do not "happen to secure a good deal" just like "you do not happen to cook a great meal" either you know what you're doing or you don't (I cannot cook good meal).

The point is focus on what you can control - finding a good deal, not on external factors you have no control over - the way the market is heading

I secured a very good deal on my first house. Chinese investor subdivided the site but then had cashflow problems so needed to sell up quick and head back overseas. As is the case with most of my successful cooking endeavours - 100% happenstance.

The saving I made by buying at a discount now pales in comparison to the long term capital gain.

As is the case with most of my successful cooking endeavours - 100% happenstance.

Haha, nice.

Sorry Laminar, I very much disagree with your comment. I would be very happy to continue investing in property if the market never went up. You indeed make money when you buy, I would never buy a property if I can't extract at least 20% of value out of it in the first 3-6 months and since I only put in 20% of my own money in, I double it. (btw I do not sell so I'm not a trader). Buying in the hope the market will go up is speculating, not investing, the beauty with RE is that, if you know what you're doing, you can quite easily create value

Disregarding improvements, is there a property in your portfolio that has gone up by less than 20% of fair market value (not the “good deal” price) since purchase date? No such property exists in my portfolio.

Investment is “the act of allocating funds to an asset or committing capital to an endeavor (a business, project, real estate, etc.), with the expectation of generating an income or profit.” Buying in the hope the market will go up in the long term meets this definition perfectly.

“Creating value” is different to “buying well”. If you create value through improvements of some form, the increase in value is reward for your work. You made the money when you did the work, not when you bought or sold.

The saying about “making money when you buy, not when you sell“ is very common in real estate circles. But when it comes to long-term property investment, I put it in the same camp as “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. Catchy, but untrue in many cases.

Yvil, you of course are correct, although I don’t have a % of buying under true market value but it has to have a good positive yield, be under value and with upside.
We have not needed to Put a single cent into a property for over 10 years, the beauty of buying well and leveraging.

Balance point here of confidence verse resistance. We have yet to get to that consensus at the wider community level that it's better to wait.

Remember the buyer frenzy? How about a 'don't buy frenzy' - when everybody at the water cooler is talking it down. I don't hear that yet...... but when that happens, pick your low.

Its been pretty clearly established that the low will be 50% of the high.

I'm a bit surprised the "leafy suburbs" are doing well, where do the buyers of these pricey properties come from?


I've got it on good authority that only Chinese can buy valuable properties in NZ.

Possibly from among the 54,000 immigrants over the past year??????

Further: Laminar - Why, unless it is a prejudice comment, do you specify Chinese. Nearly three times as many immigrants arrived from South Africa, India, Australia and the Phillipines. So who is your "good authority"?


Looks like sarcasm to me so you may want to hold off on the moral outrage.

Indeed im trying to make fun of the chinese conspiacy posts from the past.

Heavy G and Laminar
Glad to hear. I don’t want to see what are often unsubstantiated prejudice comments.
While it may be considered by you as sarcasm, repeated such comments can fuel prejudice, so your comment is not ok.
One of the comments made by the Human Rights Commission was that often comments made in jest can hurt.
I am not being pc but I hate anything that denigrates others. It is simply bullying, intentional or not.

Well let's stick to the facts that Overseas Investors from China are not going to be able to get their money out of China anytime soon. Article from South China Morning Post: China’s capital outflow controls have gone to the ‘extreme’, former central bank adviser says

So back to my original question: who buys theses expensive houses in the leafy suburbs?

In the small volumes going on at the moment, people who bought in significantly earlier and are buying and selling in the same market. That would be my guess.

Yeah, settle down printer8

In the Eastern Bays it appears to be NZ born Kiwis buying properties in the $2m to $3m range. With some that I've spoke to, it's their 4th property or more so they must be sitting on past gains. No particularly fancy cars to go with it so I assume they're not newly minted.

You're talking to people in rarified air Ex Expat
Not many have been buying $2m - $3m range in the Eastern Bays lately... and their numbers are falling.

cmat, there are plenty of Kiwis with money, especially in Auckland,

Yeah good to know, thanks.
I was a private banker so I have a fair idea.

I'm looking at the actual stats in that report of how many people have been buying in that bracket recently (Not many compared to previously. Also confirmed by Rob Report), rather than reckons on how many rich people they are and how much money they have.

The easiest way to view is to log into and choose a point on the map then view the surrounding sales e.g. 7 Allum St, which sold on 11/9. The homes estimate was $2,770,000 but I believe it sold for circa $3,000,000 after only days on market. Very little in the surrounding area is under $2,000,000 unless it's a small townhouse or a leaker and there are plenty of sales to look at, some so recent the price isn't disclosed. There are not rich private banker type customers, they are financially comfortable small business owners and professionals.

OK. While we're talking about that area.

What about 109 Melanesia Rd?
- Sold (not a homes estimate - *Sold*) for $2.43m in May 2018
- Sold again (again *Sold* - not an est) for $1.95m in July 2019

No change in condition, no reno distorting CVs or estimates.
Just a stone-cold $480k loss in 14 months.

Homes had it at $2.35m before it sold the 2nd time because is weighted toward recent sales and it gets distorted by renos.

Easy to point to 7 Allum - the owners "restored and extended the property".
So the CV and estimates will all be up the whack.
Don't know how many times I've pointed out how renos distort sales data - as a purchaser I'm going to put a line through every single one of them in a comparable sales dataset.

Just asked an agent to fill the gaps. 107 Allum sold for $3,250,000. 85 Melanesia sold for $2,400,000. 91 sold for $2,315,000. All renovated at who knows what cost. The leaker at 68 sold for $1,269,000. Isn’t 109 the one the developer of the houses across the road unloaded? A stalled subdivision strategy. They must be selling those new ones soon and there’s competition just down the road. I think some of those are actually St Heliers. In any case there’s money around, renovated or not, which was my point.

Yeah, the developer who owned 109 Melanesia has a colourful history.
I don't think he is involved with the other development.
Must take something dodgy or cataclysmic to have to book a loss like that in such a short space of time.

Thanks for that other data.
I'm really interested in how prices have moved in the last 12 months because I think some vendors will still be pegging off comparable sales data from 12 months ago - which is clearly obsolete now.

The vendor at 91 Melanesia had to reset his expectations.
He tried to sell that property 12 months ago and withdrew the listing.
When it was previously listed he amended the valuation on to $2.55m - presumably this is what he was expecting initially.
So he took a hit on that to come back to $2.315m only 12 months later.

That leaker at 68 got smoked.
Do you know what the other leaker at 62A went for? - that was on the market for a long time with numerous price drops.

60A Melanesia is on the market at the moment.
Purchased in Sept-17 for $2.625m and now with an asking price of $2.595m - so guaranteed to book a loss over 2 years.

@ Ex Expat: Yeah get real, they're called Money Launders and there's been a fair amount of them cleaning their ill gotten gains through Auckland via property purchases. It still goes on or haven't you noticed.

16 minutes ago you posted Chinese cannot take their money out and into NZ anymore and now you say "it's still goes on". Which is it?

by CJ099 | 16th Oct 19, 7:21pm
Well let's stick to the facts that Overseas Investors from China are not going to be able to get their money out of China anytime soon.

Leafy Eastern suburbs results from last week where a staggering 4 properties were sold!

There is something going on here that does not add up. Properties that sold over council valuations have both that value and sale price displayed. I am wondering why they have left out for others, perhaps sold for substantially lower and the RE agents dont want the info out so the ponzi scheme can carry on. Makes me wonder how far this con will continue to play out before it all comes crashing down.

On a lot of them they don't have the sale price or valuation price. Might not be disclosed...I know some of the agent emails I receive no longer disclose sale prices on recent sales, where they always used to. Seems like the stats we have here have maybe 30-40% with clearly known RV and sale price, and they vary above and below.

If the Sale Price is not disclosed, then by default its below CV. One could presume so. If it had been well over CV, wouldn't the RE agents been yelling out loud for all to hear???

@GS Easy to find the latest cv looking on
Check out a few with unlisted cv’s and see if a pattern emerges and let us know.

Yes I think something strange is happening when agents leave sale price off
homes website.
Can agents somehow fudge sale prices to keep confidence in market higher than it maybe. I know some developer's are offering cash backs in contracts to keep section sale prices higher on paper.
Could make a good story for interest website.

Unfortunately, REINZ figures this week show that sales in NSC are down 19.6% on 2018.
NSC is not particularly leafy, esp Albany.

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