Barfoot & Thompson's auction numbers jump sharply with the sales rate hovering around 50%

Barfoot & Thompson's auction numbers jump sharply with the sales rate hovering around 50%

There was a big jump in activity at Barfoot & Thompson's auction rooms in the week after Labour Weekend (October 28-November 3) with the real estate agency processing 147 auction properties compared to 107 the previous week (+37%).

The sales rate continued to hover around the 50% mark with sales achieved on 70 of the properties, giving a clearance rate of 48% compared to 52% the previous week

The biggest auction of the week was at Manukau where three dozen properties from south and east Auckland suburbs were offered and exactly half were sold.

The Shortland Street auction on October 30 wasn't far behind with 34 properties on offer, mostly from central Auckland suburbs such as Glendowie, Remuera, Orakei, Greenlane, Mt Albert and Mt Eden, plus a few from western suburbs such as Henderson and West Harbour, with an overall sales rate of 53%.

At the big North Shore auction 30 properties were offered and the sales rate was 43%.

A notable feature of recent auctions is the relatively low number of properties being withdrawn from sale prior to their auction, with just one withdrawn from Barfoot's auction last week, although three properties had their auction dates postponed.

See the table below for the full results of all Barfoot's auctions last week, while details of the individual properties offered are available on our Residential Auctions Results page.

The comment stream on this story is now closed.

Barfoot & Thompson Residential Auction Results
28 October - 3 November 2019
Date Venue Sold Sold Prior Sold Post Not Sold Postponed Withdrawn Total % Sold
28 Oct-3 Nov On-site 8     5     13 62%
29 Oct Manukau 18     17 1   36 50%
29 Oct Shortland St 1     1     2 50%
30 Oct Whangarei       5     5 0
30 Oct Mortgagee/Court 2           2 100%
30 Oct Shortland St 18     15 1   34 53%
30 Oct Pukekohe 2     7     9 22%
31 Oct North Shore 10 3   15 1 1 30 43%
31 Oct Shortland St 3     4     7 43%
1 Nov Shortland St 5     4     9 56%
Total All venues 67 3   73 3 1 147 48%

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Strong week of volume compared to same week last year (off a very low base).
Last year was 46 sales on 174 auctions (26%).

Was the first week after FBB came into force. a fair few were likely brought forward to before the FBB.

Still looks like Auckland will finish the year about 1,000 sales fewer than 2018. Will be interesting to see what the REINZ HPI does.

Yeah, perhaps that's a fair conclusion.

Will be interesting.

Number that went to auction jumps, but sales rate still stuck below 50%..

Supposed to be spring.. yeah, nah

Dgm - Why must you be negative towards anything property. The market has been very quiet for 3 years and is now improving, it is what it is. Your negativity suggests you perhaps have had a bad experience or just sat on your hands waiting for a crash to long ? Your comment's have no effect on any outcome so why bother. Happy investing !


If the fact that I have stated hurts your feelings due to your vested interest in property, too bad


@ Shoreman. You don't seem to understand that Auckland's property market is not improving as such, it's only being propped up by falling mortgage interest rates which will need to rise at some stage. The only realistic way for the market to actually improve is through peoples wages to increase so they can purchase at a higher price, creating a sustainable economies. For that to happen the real economies need to improve and that can only happen if the cost of living comes down, for that we need lower rents and house prices for business to thrive. Otherwise you relying on falling interest rates and overseas foreign buyers which is a mugs game, since it is so unsustainable and no real Investor would even consider it. Now do you understand.

CJ009 - Have to say you do sound alot like RP that had the same view. We all are entitled to a view. I have heard it all before, for 37 years that I have been in property, all the reasons the market will not improve. It can be debated either way. Fortunately I have ignored comments from people like you and just got on and bought, more and more property. I have increased my portfolio by adding another 3 properties in the last 18 months. I never sell just improve them. The Auckland market is ripe in the next 5 years for substantial gains. You may not agree which is fine. Every 10% rise is a million dollars for me and my family. In my opinion smart real investors are already in the market. Those who are not often try to convince the market that it is wrong and should not improve. Happy investing !

Shoreman, you didn't even make the effort to understand what CJ wrote. Just straight into the chest-beating.

JJ - An assumption on your part old chap it's the same story word for word we heard in 2010 and 2001 and 1992 and 1983, before market take off. How the market could or should behave through debating rational facts certainly does not determine where it goes. The market over time will reveal the outcome not us and depending on ones belief and confidence in its future will determine gains or losses for all of us. Happy investing.

If you aren't looking at fundamentals and market forces you aren't investing, you're gambling.

Prag - Of course it is necessary to look at fundamentals but the big picture one people over look is the terms of trade which is trending well, basically all other fundamentals follow suit ! Happy !

What's not to like about it. Sustainable economy, affordable houses, higher income and lower cost of living. If you don't want this what do you want?

The inverse, unaffordable houses, lower incomes, higher cost of living and unsustainable economy. Doesn't sound like a great place to live.

@Shoreman, but the point about interest rates it fundamental. You have been in property, as stated, for 37 years. 48 years ago Nixon took the global reserve off the gold standard. 39 years ago Paul Volcker raised interest rates to 20% so interest rates have been able to fall throughout that whole period globally. Now the cash rate is close to zero. I personally don't see how the systematic tax on human time to inflate property prices through the lowering of interest rates can continue. Mathematically the system you have benefited from has run its course.

Wow you just brought another 3! I can't even afford my 1st and i'm a working professional, 30yo ...
How's your leverage and diversification?

Dgm = PropertyPrices2Fall. Had that monicker for 9 years until he got banned from

The ESOL poet’s words are recognisable no matter what his username.

Wouldn't you know better BHSL..

Is your portfolio still crumbling?

Don’t insult me like that. BuyLowSellHigh was a mean-spirited scoundrel.

"Now improving" - I take it this is based on September 19 sales being better than last 2 Septembers?
That is a pretty narrow base for such a broad conclusion.
Interest rates have bene cut in 2019 and sales have not recovered. They remain below 2017 levels except where prices are under $800k.

Looking at the properties that sold, most (if not all) were below the rating capital value.

Remembering its less than 12 months before the next election, I don't see an appropriate correction in prices until after this. Meanwhile, the fair weather banksters are weeding out their troubled loans. We know the games these parasites play, and they may be deferring the weeding out their biggest problems until winter next year; as they attempt to get National back in office.

Looks like they found a replacement for Noddy last night!


I don't care who they bring in. But if they look to reverse the FBB or open the doors for more immigration, they will not get my vote back.


If not for those two primary growth drivers, we'd have zero to negligible growth over the 8 years John Key ran the show. Damn, I forgot to account for the contribution to GDP from pawning off national assets to foreigners.

The Nats are a bunch of cunning salespeople: selling houses and assets of strategic importance to foreign buyers, permanent visas to low-skilled migrants, and pipe-dreams to NZers.

Only 39 sold same week last year at a clearance rate of 33%, so significantly better this year.

Will have to wait an see if this can be sustained


Save the big banks, buy a house now!

Indeed. Aust Westpac profit slid 15%. The CEO said it was due to the weak Australian economy, and that is with Australian house prices rising again. The banks need people to keep buying.

After the Banking Royal Commission, I protested and switched my mortgage to a small bank.

Hi Chairman Motor Moa,

With all due respect, I think you should heed your own advice.

But stop worrying about the banks, they're doing ok.



the use of irony to mock or convey contempt.

"But stop worrying about the banks, they're doing ok."

Not sure how the banks in NZ are placed, but Westpac in Australia (and parent company of the NZ subsidiary) is raising $2.5bn of new capital.

FYI, dividend cuts and capital raisings are not a sign that a bank is doing ok. You don't see banks doing capital raising and dividend cuts in good times.

Really not worth comment til REINZ figs released. Except to say that sales in first 9m of 2019 are 3.5% below 2017 for Auckland and 11.5% below the same period of 2018. Judgement delayed.

Hi Mike,
to what extent do you think the Bright-line test has had an impact on (reducing) sales volumes? I can think of various scenarios. It could discourage a purchase because the risk/reward proposition has changed, or it could cause someone to hold onto a property for longer so they can avoid paying tax.

I don't think it'll have much impact on investors with larger portfolios. Could see it influencing the small timers though. My guess is it has had a small but definite impact on sales volumes over the last few years.

I think the most important goal of the bright-line test is to stop (reduce) the rampant house-flipping. Houses bought with the intention of selling them within a year wouldn't be rented out, thus making the house shortage worse. I mean, if there *is* a shortage.
I have no idea how well it worked in practice though.

I agree that was probably the main goal, and if it achieved that alone then it would have reduced the overall volume of sales.

But there are many other potential reasons to want to sell quickly. Here's a simple hypothetical: Let's say I live in Auckland, and brought an investment property well under market value a year ago. Then I get a long term job transfer to Wellington. Maybe I want to sell, take my gains, then re-invest in Wellington so it's easier to keep an eye on my investment. But I don't like the idea of paying 1/3 of my gains in tax, so I decide to hold on to the property for another 4 years to avoid the tax hit.

It's a really good question.
I wouldn't have thought the extension of the bright line test to 5 years would have had a great impact on dampening demand.
The tax, of course, is only paid on capital gains occurring within that 5 year period. If you thought there was a risk of minimal gains, sure it might put you off given the transaction costs of selling a property.
But the bullish starting point for most investors, as we know from those who contribute on this website, is that there is likely to be large gains over a 5 year period. Given that, there is probably a commonly held view that even in the event of a forced sale within 5 years, an investor will still come out well ahead even though some of their gains will be lost to the taxman.
This is why Capital gains taxes are almost worthless in terms of dampening speculation - unless they are punitively high (more than 50%).
That's why we have seen rampant property bubbles develop also in companies that have a CGT.
This isn't to say a CGT is without merit. It's just that it has little to no merit to dampen speculation.

Back from the dead Freddy? I think you have misunderstood the effect of the bright line test on resales

Briefly, not much effect. Most effect on falling sales has been above $1.4m, since October 18.
Before that, LVR and lack of capital gain due to non rising prices, plus feeble yield in Auckland.
Also investors know cycle is flat at present and that rise in prices not likely til buyers think that it will rise and at present buyers expect the opposite.

Minimising the potential for capital gains is the best way to minimise speculation.
The best way of minimising that potential is to ensure a robust supply response is enabled.
And the best way to do this is through a combination of enabling the market to respond through a development-friendly regulatory regime AND progressing a large government house building programme.
The current government rightly adopted both approaches as policy. Unfortunately, their delivery has been very poor.

It'll be interesting to know how much those properties were bought and sold for besides the the auction results to estimate the net capital gains for owning those properties. Just randomly selecting a few I noticed a trend in selling below the RV. If the last last sales price has an impact on the next RV assessment, what happen to the income of the council and their contractual commitments to future projects? If the RV ignores the last sold value, are rate payers overcharged for their council rates?

Who cares what they sold for?
What is the point in worrying about what is selling below or above The rating valuation, because that is all it is, a rating valuation and not a clear indication of what a property is worth.
While many of you are going on and on about stats that are not even relative to buying property, the investors are doing very nicely due to low interest rates, plenty of tenant demand and buying at good yields.
Bought a property on Friday and settle next week, and already signed up great long term tenant.
Nicely positively geared and under true value.
There are opportunities out there to become financially stable but many choose not to.

"Who cares what they sold for?"

Your property buying strategy differs from mine. I'm concern on overpaying for something that has bleak growth outlook and I'm not in a philanthropic mood to overpay my rates based on 1.1M when I actually paid 980K for a house. Debt, interest rates, the solvency of the town council is a on-going concern for me. I bought something recently elsewhere and NZ properties are the last place I'm seeing any value until perhaps when the market corrects itself. I'm investing not speculating.

You make the mistake of thinking RV determines how much the councils collect in rates.. it doesn't. RVs determine how that rates bill get split up amongst ratepayers. If the council decides it needs $2 billion dollars from rates, it gets $2 billion..If your RV is higher compared to the rest of the ratepayers you pay a slighty bigger share of that money.

Precisely what I'd said. Why should I pay a bigger share when the reality is that the price on the house is below the RV value.

All RVs are updated at the same time with the same methodology, so aggregate sales in the area affect all RVs, so if yours is wrong, so is everybody else's. End result, actual market value of any particular house is irrelevant.

So if I paid 980K on a house and my neighbour next to me pays 1.1m and we're both have an RV of 1.2m, does it mean I get to pay less rates than my neighbour?

Of course not, you will pay exactly the same if your rateable value is the same.
That is why it is a total waste of time and meaningless all you statistic gurus going on about houses selling under R/V!
Forget the R/V, forget what something else down the street sold for, it is people that do too much research into prices that will miss the boat!
If you want to be reliant on the country to support you now and when you are retired then keep doing what you are doing and that is probably very little.
If you want to get ahead financially then get alongside successful investors and get them to assist you.
Most investors if they are professional and fulltime will gladly give you their knowledge free,y

You're just grumpy because the latest CHCH RVs show the values are going nowhere.. RVs up 1% in 3 years, Rates up 7%..

Pragmatist, don’t care what R/vs do.
Go up go sideways and Doesnt affect affect seasoned investors who are positively geared and able to buy whenever we want.
We don’t generally sell so why would we worry when yields are good and safe?
CHCh market is the most stable in the country and opportunities continue!

Pragmatist you are under the illusion that if RVs dont increase much since three years ago then you didnt miss out on any gains. Quite the opposite mate. What if the market has dipped in between times during and so be on the rise again when the valuations are done. And btw the BEST time to buy is when the market is quiet, BEFORE other buyers get active.

TM2 - Well said you should be knighted for your commonsense !

No. RV is the Ratings Valuation, its not a market valuation...
If you have two identical houses your RVs should be the same, and the rates you pay should also be the same, regardless of who got a better deal when buying their house.

Can't understand people who moan and fixate about rates.

If your house has an RV of $1.2m you're probably paying ~$3k in Auckland.

If that seriously is an issue for you, when you're sitting on such a high value asset, then downsize or move somewhere else.

Surely if you have an R/V of $1.2m then you will be paying more than $3k in rates?
We personally are paying far more than that in ChCh and our R/v is not $1.2m!

I think Christchurch rates are higher (relatively speaking) because of the earthquake.

Because the cost of running water pipes, roads etc to service a property have not much at all to do with what the property is worth. 1km of concrete pipe in chch isn't a third the cost of 1 km of the same pipe in auckland, even though the properties they run past are probably worth 3 times more..

Auckland rates, despite all the whinging, are a lot lower than other parts of the country when you compare it to the value of the property.

As Pragmatist says, a $1.2m property in Auckland is likely to be on a smaller plot. Higher density means infrastructure spend can be spread across more households, more efficiently.

I couldn't believe it when I moved back and had previously lived in Wellington.
Can't understand why everyone bleats so much... especially when they're crowing about capital gains out the other side of their mouth.

That's true. But that's comparing hilly earthquake prone Wellington to Auckland. Just an example, Sydney rates are less than half of Auckland. All these additional costs may mean nothing to you but it all adds up chipping away at the overvalued properties especially if the investor holds them longer than they expected to.

Yeah, well, the moral then is - don't be an over-leveraged investor who over-pays and ends up with a rubbish yield.
And if, because of that, you end up holding for longer than expected (presumably because all you're then interested in is capital gain) then more the fool you.

I have z-e-r-o sympathy.

Investors shouldn’t be over leveraged as Banks are pretty careful with who they lend to now.
Servicing has been calculated at roughly 7 % in recent times so unless property is empty seasoned landlords are doing fine.

Sentiments are better now than between November last year to September 2019.

Question is : Is this sentiments sustainable and based on solid footing or ...................

Many houses have been listed in last few days in Buckland Beach, Howick and near by area (Am observing) and when one check the history most have been purchased in 2016, 2017 or 2018 (Infact when checking the history in details, those bought in 2016 onwards and now selling - have been sold by the same RE Agent through whom the current Vendor had bought and are now selling and not to sound racist but most are owned by Ch..). RE Agents had investors/speculators who made heaps and in the last round are struck so are trying to offload with no or minimmum loss by using this window opportunity.

So November should give a direction to the market. Wait and Watch.

True, I Checked few of raywhite listing in Pakuranga and Howick and most were purchased in 2016 or after so are they trying to cash in /Reduce lose.

Question to be asked : If the sentiment going forward is positive than why is the RE Agent who advised them to buy earlier is advising now to sell at no profit or at a loss (minimize the loss) or may be RE Agents does not care as long as he/she gets a listing :)

RE Agents are playing with the psychology of FHB : Fear of missing out (FOMO). May be also of Vendor (FOMO) to get listing (Sell now as sentiments are up).

In any situation RE Agent is in a win win situation as will get his commision.

Everyone who feels that house price will go up in near future should think as what has changed except low interest rate (Is that enough ) and correctly will know in a month or two if the positive sentiments are on sound footing or is just ...........

Haven't you heard about Dead Cat Bounce.

This is a perfect example of it.

FOMO is so yesterday, today is FONGO

Thanks for correcting

Averages are misleading, so I try to provide more detail for different categories and areas, and periods of time for comparison.

I look at time periods more than a month old because REINZ makes often large adjustments to figures and these are not reported on later. So, having said that, some (to me!) interesting trends and facts:

All figures are residential only sales:

NZ 2017 v 2019, first 9m of year: - 8.2%
Auckland - 3.5%
Albany Ward: flat.
Papakura: +20% (checkout median = $685 over last 12m
Compared to North Shore (median $985k over last 12m) sales down 17%
Waitakere City (median $769k last 12m) up 6.2%

Plainly, sales are up where it is cheaper and FHB are looking there to buy.

Auckland section sales first 9m of 2018 v 2019: down 41% and apartments down 31%
For NZ as a whole section sales down 59% in 2019 compared to 2017 (9m)

Prices OTM are often 3-5% above CV but they usually sell for 3-5% below CV.
Overall prices not likely to rise in Auckland for another 5 years, because of demography.
Simply put, the numbers of people in prime earning group (40-49) is shrinking relative to what it was in 2013-18 (during which period it increased.) Also, ratio of those and 25-64 v those over 65, is going down.
So that means fewer buyers for older people's downsize plans and over 65 group is growing fastest.
This is a deflationary impact, age related.
When Chinese and other Asian group cohort gets into 40-49 bracket, sales and prices will recover.
But that does not happen til 2023-25.
Lots more new property being built and rented which is good for landlords but not for a property owning democracy ideal.

Geee Mike I have heard that demography argument before years ago. It didn't pan out then so what makes you think it will be any different. What happened is that those who believed it got suckered.

Demand may be increasing, a bit, with reduced interest rates. But lots of new listings are coming on line - more than any minor increase in demand justifies.
The result is we'll see more flatness.

Copy and paste your old comments please. It will save time.

Just came across this great report from AUT on Auckland's housing bubble:

Some quotes:

Another fact: this position will have to unwind one way or another. The proposition
that any market can permanently sustain a decoupling of asset values from average
incomes is just plain wrong.

There are two classic features that all bubbles share. The first feature is that
participants in the bubble market – primarily those profiting from capital appreciation
of the bubble – will say that the fundamentals are different. They will say that this is
‘strong sustainable growth reflecting value fundamentals’, not a bubble. They will
contend that the rules of economics have been rewritten. A ‘new paradigm’ has been
established by ‘forward thinking investors’.

(sounds familiar????)


The second feature shared by all bubbles is that they burst. Every single
one. Auckland housing will do just that. The question is whether the bubble
decompression is gradual with a ‘hiss’ of released pressure, or explosive with a ‘bang’.

Hi Fritz

Yes v good Mr Tookey.
His report is really basis for my seeing off loading by builder developers from March as basis for price declines

The graph on page 4 puts everything into perspective, after 2016 the graph will show another flattening much like around 2006 - 2008 & 1999 - 2002 & 1990 - 1994 and then house prices will shoot up another 60% in value once again from around 2020 - 2022. The average Barfoot's sale price will be around $1.4 million.

That is certainly one interesting conclusion from the report.

Also an interesting method of developing your future price expectations of house prices in Auckland. Seen similar approaches used by others.

Also interesting that you have chosen to give more importance to the relevance of the chart than to the text of the report.

1) Some people choose a higher importance and relavance of looking at house prices relative their historical past to determine their future house price expectations
2) some people choose a higher importance and relevance of looking at house prices relative to household incomes, and that ratio, relative to their historical past to determine their future house price expectations.

Each of those approaches may lead to entirely different future price expectations.

Thank you for sharing Fritz.

All owner occupier buyers in Auckland should read this report in order to make a fully informed decision. You are free choose to ignore the report, however you are not free from the potential financial consequences of ignoring the report.

Note that the report is free from the financial interests of real estate agents, property mentors, property developers, economists who are employed by banks to promote bank lending, mortgage brokers who promote bank lending, etc, who have a vested interest in promoting property.

Did she mention banning foreign buyers as an achievement? I think she missed it!

I wont waste my time watching taxxinda prattle on. Trees, state houses and police officers are three things skewed to make you think they did something. Why didnt she also mention banning exploration or the fuel levy?... not a good look. What about the most transparent govt slogan