Barfoot and Thompson says sold 1,016 properties in August, up 34% from 2011 and highest since 2003; Average price up 11.5% to record high NZ$592,395

Barfoot and Thompson says sold 1,016 properties in August, up 34% from 2011 and highest since 2003; Average price up 11.5% to record high NZ$592,395

By Bernard Hickey

The boom is back, in Auckland at least. House prices and sales volumes are now rising at double digit rates in New Zealand's biggest city, and the Spring open home selling season has only just started.

Auckland's biggest real estate agency group, Barfoot and Thompson, has reported it handled the sale of 1,016 properties in August, up 34% from August a year ago. It expects that lift in activity and prices to continue through Christmas.

This was the highest August sales in New Zealand's biggest property market since August 2003 when the property boom from 2003 to 2007 began. Interest rates are at record lows of around 5% and are expected to stay there for at least another year, while bank lending criteria have been loosened substantially over the last year, making it easier for first home buyers and rental property investors to borrow with higher loan to value ratios.

Barfoot and Thompson reported its average sale price rose to a fresh record high NZ$592,395, up 11.6% from a year ago.

“In terms of sales numbers we are certainly in a period of high activity as in the previous four years we sold 1000 homes in a month on only one other occasion (in March 2011)," said Barfoot and Thompson Managing Director Peter Thompson, adding that prices were holding firm against those for the last quarter.

“However, this high activity is not resulting in prices escalating. In August the average price was $592,395, less than a $1000 higher than the average price in July, and in the last three months the average price has increased by less than 2 percent," he said.

 “While prices are significantly ahead of those for the same period last year, the demand for property through the winter months meant that the traditional dip in values did not occur."

During August Barfoot and Thompson listed 1,417 new properties, up 9.4% from July and up 10.5 from August last year.

However, the number of properties on Barfoots' books at the end of August was 3,777, the lowest in 10 years.

“High end properties continue to be in demand, and during August we sold 83 properties for in excess of $1 million. In the past 8 months we have now sold on average 71 properties a month for more than a million dollars, compared to 47 a month for the same period last year," Thompson said.

“These sales figures are a reflection of people’s growing confidence across all price segments in the future of the Auckland economy, and the future direction of the Auckland housing market," he said.

"The next three months normally represent the peak season in the year for house sales, and all the indications are that the current level of activity will be maintained through till Christmas.”

Regional breakdowns

Barfoot and Thompson's market analysis shows volumes and average prices broken down by region in Auckland. See the analysis at Barfoot's here.

The strongest growth in sales volumes was in Auckland Central suburbs (Herne Bay, Grey Lynn, Ponsonby, Mt Eden, Epsom, Remuera, Parnell), Eastern suburbs, Rodney, South Auckland and West Auckland. Volumes in North Shore, Pakuranga and Howick were flat in August from a year ago.

The average price for the Eastern Suburbs rose 48% in August 2012 to NZ$877,177 from NZ$592,332. The number of sales in that area rose 34% to 102.

The average price for Central Suburbs properties rose 8.3% to NZ$726,791 from NZ$670,974, while the number of sales in that area rose 43% to 200. North Shore prices rose an average 14.5%, but the number of sales was flat at 186. South Auckland's average price rose 20% to NZ$424,112 while the number of properties sold rose 64%.

Franklin/Manukau prices fell 2.9% to an average NZ$432,577, while Rodney prices fell 5% to NZ$502,702 and West Auckland prices fell 2.5%.

ASB economist comments

ASB economist Jane Thompson said Barfoot and Thompson Auckland house sales were firm and rose 1.4% in the month seasonally adjusted and was at its highest level since May 2007.

"The listings data suggest that the Auckland market remains supply constrained and that Auckland demand could be stronger than what turnover is implying," Turner said.

"Housing demand has recovered in light of low interest rates, increased confidence in the housing and steady (albeit gradual) improvement in household incomes and confidence. The lift in housing demand is also consistent with the surprising resilience demonstrated in consumer spending data, which indicate growing confidence to invest in household purchases," she said.

Supply appeared to be responding to the stronger housing market conditions with strong sales prices encouraging potential sellers to list.

"Nonetheless, the number of new listings remains relatively low and the increase in supply was insufficient to meet demand. The overall number of houses available for sale has declined to its lowest ever level recorded (ASB seasonally-adjusted estimates)," she said, adding the market was now less supplied than in previous housing booms.

"The market remains under supplied and this will continue to place upward pressure on house prices. While new listings are now starting to lift, they still remain at relatively low levels. A more meaningful increase in dwelling construction is likely to be needed to alleviate some of the supply constraints and house price inflation pressure. The lift in house prices should encourage an increase in construction demand in future."

ASB said the housing market elsewhere in New Zealand appeared to be slightly more subdued.

"The RBNZ has indicated that recent housing market developments are in line with its expectations. The ongoing Eurozone debt crisis, risks to global growth and the elevated NZD will continue to dominate the economic outlook over the near term. We continue to expect the RBNZ will leave the OCR unchanged at 2.5% until June 2013."

(Updated with more detail and quotes from Barfoots and ASB)

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When will (or will) the joy spread to other parts of NZ, I wonder?

(Dances a jig) We're in the money boys!

Only if you cash out, Muppet!  And as was the case last time - far from cashing up, lots of folks borrowed more based on their unrealised gains.  Don't fall into that trap again.

Even on the Auckland limits it is quiet Kate, I have first hand knowledge of that. The problem is a chronic shortage of listings for whatever reason. My thoughts are that people either uncertain about the future, or don't want to take a hit in what is still a depressed market. Add on top the hit they take in fees when they sell, so they are just sitting tight.

It looks like real estate is the last game it town.  Party on folks for it will never end... or will it...

It's not the last game, there's still banking too...

Burn baby burn - fan that flame!

What did I tell you Bernard?
2008/9 now looks like a sea of lost opportunities.  Even 2007 prices look like bargains in the central suburbs.
30% falls by 2012? What about 30% rises by year end 2012 (since 2008)?  I think we've already had that in stand alone central suburb property!
Those that sold up and waited for falls are very much the losers all round - as they almost always are.
Only if a huge proportion of very good houses sit empty should one be worried about a catastrophic housing market collapse.
Buy what you can afford (in the place you want to live), just downsize if you wish to take a gain, make sure you only sell out when you're beyond needing a place to call home!
(Take an example: if you listened to the BH and sold your Grey Lynn villa in 2008 for $700k which had a 50% mortgage, and invested the rest in a 4yr TD, then paid rent for a similar home - you would have spent about $45k more on rent than the mortgage and expenses would have been, plus your TD would have grown to just $420k so that net you would have just $375k cash.  To buy the same house in 2012 will cost $1.05m which means to be in exactly the same position you would need a $675k mortgage whereas before you had a $350k mortgage.  ie YOU ARE FINANCIAL STUFFED:
MORAL:  Never gamble with your home).

My RE agents just got his and her Audis - very nice.  must be doing rather well..

And of course now they'll all start buying up more houses with the proceeds of their commissions.  Exactly what happened in the last boom.  A bit like a doctor hoarding antibiotics.

I wonder - have the number of full time equivalent jobs grown or declined in greater Auckland in the five years since the GFC?  That's the far more relevent trend when predicting where house prices might go in future.  Seems to me that it was the massive job losses in the US that sent a large  majority of mortaged households underwater - whether they remained in their houses or were foreclosed on.  It's this type of shock that I can't see NZ avoiding unfortunately.

Certainly not going to gamble with my home, as I would never take away my children's ability to own in Auckland at a later date.
However, based on my experience, admittedly as an infrequent visitor to Auckland, I've decided to sell into what I see as a bubble.
I'm locked and loaded to sell in October. The buyer will get a 'no stories' house, while I will hopefully breathe a sign of relief that my days of attending to tenant demands are behind me. I can see why some chose to leave properties empty and just ride the wave.

@Asia ExPat.
Sir. That you are not in AKL all the time gives you a wider perspective and arguably clearer judgement of all this. I like that you're taking some money off the table and wish I was in a position to sell in a sellers market. 
In the long run, to end up a winner, participants of markets this frothy will have cashed out putting their money into the safety of the bank by the time those who are least accredited to be speculating are populating it, like Joe Six-Pack viewers of TV3's 'The Block' for example.
Some of these other guys seem to think this will go on forever, and/or if there is a swing in sentiment to bearishness, that they will be the only ones trying to cash out at that point.

I don't profess to have any market tiiming skills and certainly would not risk being totally out of the market, but I sense that the fundamentals here are out of whack.
Clearly, affordability is there with interest costs being so low, but having been around for a while I realise that those change and the actual goal is to repay the principal at some stage.
I'm not counting chickens, but it appears that even an average result at Auction would be 35% above an offer accepted but which didn't proceed, in 2009.
That's real money folks, it has to be repaid at some stage by someone.   

When do you think you will be able to move on from Bernards incorrect 30% drop prediction - I think everyone else has.

SK - speak for yourself. For entirely different reasons from BH's, I suggest they have to go at least that much.
Some may not notice it in an era of rampant inflation/QEtion, though.

Ah yes "they have to"
That's what they all say - year after year.

Can't argue with that SK..whether or not it defies reason and logic...your team has been right...we have been date wrong.
 Of course the longer it goes the more it swings in favour of crash or even just a slow deflation.....but as it has not happened so far ,particularly in Auckland, cudos to those of you who stuck with the horse amidst all of our neighing......I can only hope you don't carry leverage to far for too long......Do P.I.'s have exit strategies...? If so give it some thought , if not , give that some thought too. 

Further to your tweet Bernard - "Dear RBNZ. Just in case you missed that. House prices in one part of Auckland rose 48% in 12 mths. You OK with that?". Are you suggesting that because house prices in one part of Auckland rose the RB should act in some way? If so, how? Thanks.

If the RB wanted too it could stipulate different LVR's and introduce mortgage levies to slow down inflation in individual cities or even suburbs without affecting the rest of the country. Unfortunately in NZ the banks regulate the RB not the other way around, particulary with captain courageous in command. Thank god he's monitoring the situation closely!

Bank just pre-approved me again...I didn't even ask ;)
Plenty of sold signs around, just wait for all the spring/summer buyers to hit the streets, high sale volumes often preceed higher sale prices

can Barfoots tell us the % split by nationality of buyers?       hard to believe kiwis are driving this ....

Very true...NZ is  a hot haven for hot money flooding in from all over the world, I guess...No wonder Kiwi dollar is flying high...

This cannot end well , the stimulus of low interest rates and artificially constrained land supply  is fueling house prices .
Our economic fundamentals have not changed, we are still in recession mode , are still a low income member of the OECD with an agrarian export base , we have a huge and ballooning  current account deficit and a ridiculously strong currency. Unemployment is at decade long historic highs and we have a plethora risks in the international economy 

This is nothing by Euro Crisis in the making!!! Bollie is leaving and he cares a hoot what happens...
He's leaving the pain and panic to the next RB Governor..

It would be interesting to see a breakdown of who buys in those areas :
Using descriptive analyses, Stillman and Maré (2008) found a positive relationship between change in population, immigrants, and house prices at both the national and local levels. The authors also looked at the relationships over each intercensal period and found that results for 2001-2006 were quite different from those for the other periods. Overall, house price appreciation and population growth was higher in 2001-2006 than in any other period, but the areas with the largest population increases in 2001-2006 tended to experience smaller increases in house prices. These findings do not control for heterogeneity in the different population groups that live in different areas in New Zealand or for the fact that people who change locations may self-select into growth areas where house prices are appreciating. To control for such factors, a more sophisticated multivariate analysis was applied.
The multivariate analysis found that population growth and house prices were only weakly associated during 1991-2006. For example, a 1 percent increase in an area's population was associated with a 0.2-0.5 percent increase in house prices. The impact on rents was found to be even lower.
The source of population growth was then broken down to separate impacts that new migrants, New Zealanders returning from abroad, and movement within New Zealand (including earlier migrants) had on house prices. Although immigration flows were an important contributor to population change, no evidence was found that the inflow of immigrants had an impact on house prices. Local house price increases were more associated with the location that New Zealanders returning from abroad settled in than where new migrants lived. For example, locations with a one percentage point higher inflow rate of returning New Zealanders had 6-9 percent higher house prices and 4 percent higher rents. It is unclear what is driving this association: whether returning New Zealanders are increasing house prices or whether they are moving back to areas that have had higher-than-average price increases.

Stillman and Maré (2008), Coleman and Landon-Lane (2007), and Grimes et al (2007) all found a relationship between immigration and house prices at the national level. Interestingly, Stillman and Maré (2008) and Grimes et al (2007), who included sub-national analyses, found much weaker relationships. Further, when the composition of the inflows was disaggregated, the impact of an inflow of overseas born to an area was negligible. Given the lack of a relationship at the local level these results raise doubts about whether the strong positive correlation that exists between migration and house prices at the national level is in fact causal. In other words, given the uneven distribution of immigrants across New Zealand, if immigration were the key driver of recent house price inflation, then it would be expected that areas with higher inflows of immigrants would have the highest levels of house price appreciation. This was not found to be the case and suggests that the relationship at the national level may be a consequence of omitted aggregate time series factors that raise both immigration and house prices.
It could also be that Government policy hinges on a usefull result such as this. Sometime later the Savings Working Group ignored those finding?

New Zealand Research on the Economic Impacts of Immigration 2005–2010 - Synthesis and research agenda
The study shows that all sub-groups of the migrant population analysed had positive net impacts, although the scale differed by the duration of residence, region of origin, and region of residence in New Zealand.


Limitations and discussion
Slack et al (2007) did not cover all components of government accounts. For example, settlement support expenses were not included as they were assumed to be one-off costs and often covered by the fees paid by migrants through the migrant levy.
A potentially more important omitted category is the large-scale public infrastructure investment that might be needed following the expansion of the population. This kind of expenditure is conceptually difficult to allocate to relatively small changes in the population resulting from immigration. There is also the question to what extent existing infrastructure is sufficiently underutilised to be able to cope with additional population without incurring congestion effects. This may be particularly important in New Zealand, where most new migrants settle in Auckland; a city in which, for example, investment in transportation infrastructure has not kept pace with increasing demand. However, it should also be noted in this context that Slack et al (2007) did not consider the emigration of New Zealanders and earlier immigrants. In fact, if the impact of outflows were also considered, the net effect of omitting capital investment is likely to be less because the outflows offset much of the impact of the inflow on infrastructure.

Since 2002, the British Government department responsible for immigration, the Home Office, has claimed immigrants pay £2-5bn more in tax than they withdraw from the public purse. The workings behind this figure omit the cost of the additional infrastructure investments that immigrants necessitate (no small omission). The conventional wisdom is that funding government owned assets is a burden on the community at large, whereas funding private sector business assets is not. However the distinction between public and private sectors is artificial. Thus funding the private sector investments is just as much a burden on the community as funding the public sector. Thus it is the community at large funds the additional private sector business assets that immigrants necessitate. The important distinction is not between public and private sector assets, but between what might be called “communally used” assets (public and private) and assets which only one person or family benefits from, of which housing is much the most important. That is,  

Whew! Far out! What a comment

I saw 100% kiwis in a Westmere auction last week.

Knowing the tendency for Chinese to like all things new about their property purchasese and speculation, I couldn't imagine Ponsonby/GL holds much attraction. It's only really ambitious NZers with a yearning for urbanity and its spoils that would have spawned the market frenzy among the hipsters.
Interestingly, I would expect Chinese buyers would prefer North Shore, Pakuranga and Howick--all areas that haven't had a shot of viagra. 
At least Kiwis have this glimmer of hope and the media at least doesn't shove the iron ore price collapse down their throats. All's well.

Chris J, I thought we forgave BH's prediction of 30% drop?
I bet even BH is feeling a little smuck - Epsom prices are going through the roof - I can hear BH is laughing all the way to the (Australian) banks... MUAHAHAHAHA..

If you're going to let our Bernard off the hook, we should perhaps do the same with the critical mass of punters who shcmoozed us with the commodity price boom. Or are we immune from Aussie and China?

Do we have to forgive him?
The only reason I started commenting on this website was to prove Bernard wrong about that 30% prediction!

How thin is the shell, prick it and it's "somebody please help us".
Some of us offered to help, for nothing, just good samaratanism.
But the plea must have been about wealth, without which some feel a bit inadequate. Now we think we're 'wealthy' again, we're cocky. Am I right?
And as for the 30% comment, something like it will happen. Theree is not the underwrite on the planet, to cash-in the debt currently held. The Keen approach is the only one which could save the system now, without collapse. Extend and pretend if you will, but watch the growing gap between incomes and 'prices'. Those incomes are also rents.
Don't say you weren't warned. The G7 wrote to the IEA (who own no wells, fields or URR) in a panic last week. They are aware.

PDK I recently responded to your misappropriation of that comment.  I will repeat it here:
"PDK, that plea for assistance was immediately after Feb 22 and it was for support to reinstate some democracy (nothing financial) in a city which had been commandeered by bulldozing lunatics who were doing whatever they felt like doing.

Unfortunately many of the same bureaucratic dictators remain in control and we are still stuck in a similar situation 18 months down the track.
Christchurch continues to be dogged by incompetents who continue with even greater harebrained schemes to make up for the damage caused by their earlier abominations.
PDK, if you can offer assistance in some way (non financial) to the any of the many thousands of homeowners who are being bullied and punished by EQC, their insurers and CERA, then come to Christchurch and help some of those people - they are not hard to find.

Well said ! ..... tell that fellow to stop sniping from afar , and to get personally involved in the chaos that is the re-build of Christchurch .......

Been there, done that - but most of my circle are reasonably competent  themselves   :)

Clearly you haven't seen the hardship in our city.

It's well known that his prediction was wrong - possibly time to stop harping on about it?

More intriging is that it was the prediction that made him a 'big name'.  Never heard of him until the imminent 30% drop predictions spread through the news media and he became the expert.
Being right or wrong isn't important for publicity - being controversial or scaremongering is.

The 6.4 million dollar question is how long the collective mortgages have to run (they'll all outrun their agreed terms, one presumes) and whether there will be enough ability to produce goods/services to repay them.
I say not.
So when the music slows, who will be holding the poisoned parcels?
Just becuase RE appears to be the only game in an emptying  tent, doesn't mean the circus will stay in town.

Oh the circus will stay in town alright PDK..,(like the analogy though)...
as long as the Banking  Pricks stay inside the bubble,
it's only the contained they'll have going down on them.....
mercy me.

I haven't stopped shaking my head since reading this ...
Frankly, it beggars belief. Has New Zealand not learned anything at all? It's as if we're collectively on the crack pipe ... again.
I'm bracing for the inevitable fallout; it'll come alright - as sure as night follows day. And it won't be pretty.

It can't not.
Did you not watch that Albert Bartlett clip?

I take it, what you're saying is "This time is different" ... ?
The alternative, frankly, would be a cold day in hell.

I take it, what you're saying is "This time is different" ... ?
The alternative, frankly, would be a cold day in hell.

Oops - please excuse the irrationally exuberant double post.
Blame the fat finger.

Well, when you think about it - the previous fallout was roughly two years (2008/10) and a 10-20% price drop (on very low sales) based on 2006/07 values.  So, if we follow the theory about capitalisms booms and busts becoming greater in magnitude with each passing cycle - and the period of boom cycle itself being shorter - then the next leg down will last perhaps 4-6 years and the price drops might be in the order of 30-40%.
The trick is picking this runs peak - miss it and it will be costly if you get in debt/mortgage strife thereafter.
Doubt there will be a mining boom in AUS to support the same level of kiwi-flight as last time either.
As Chris_J said - the right time to buy in recent times was 2008/09.  The market conditions now are not the same - and the upward trend we are presently experiencing might not last as long as it did in the lead up to 2007. 
It is a very volatile time globally.  Another Lehmans event (but a bigger one) must be on the near horizon and this time the solution to the immediate crisis will take more than a few weeks to solve. 

The entire western world struggles increasingly with massive debts, mass- unemployment, food shortages and high oil prices and in Auckland they are selling houses to each other like crazy. What a wonderful NZstory.

.... yes Walter , but 50 or 100 or even 200 years ago , when the " western world " had recessions & depressions , people actually starved to death  ......
The peasants  rioted , revolted , and be-headed the ruling classes ......
....... we're living so much better than that today , even in an ongoing economic slow-down ... with our " free " medical services , Sky TV , smart-phones , supermarkets with shelves fully laden with the finest comestibles from around the planet ,  jacuzzis , Amanda's yoga page ......
If this is Western humanity at a low ebb , below our finest hour ...... then hold onto your britches when things eventually turn up , and the economy heads off on a rip & a snort !
Stop whizzling , Walter ...... and start buying : You'd be mad if you didn't !
Booooooooooooo-yah !

all brought to you by?
fossil fuels.
Yep, good reason to buy on. Makes you realise why some have to fantasize that kerogen extraction is the equivalent of Timbertop.

........and there I was  worrying that after Bernard departs , the veil of gloom will lift at , and a little sunshine may peak in .....
But have no fear on that front , kiddies ...... there'll still be the resident gloomsterisers to ensure your levels of " doom , gloom & bust " remain in hickeysterical quantities .......
[ methinks PDK is grumpy 'cos he has not been buying Auckland houses , and sharing the wealth creation ..... must get him a gift certificate to a RichMastery seminar ]

.... yes Walter , but 50 or 100 or even 200 years ago , when the " western world " had recessions & depressions , people actually starved to death  ......
See Gummy, that is a point where we differ a lot. There are millions of people living under conditions you describe, often because of western greedy business behaviour (capitalism). Worldwide increasing inequality will push even in western societies many people over the edge.   

$NZ 590 000 for a house in Auckland ? ........ a bargain ! ........ buy up now , fill yer boots while you can , before it starts to get expensive .....

So you're a buyer then.
I think the smart money in this cycle bought up a few years ago - and is now sitting back enjoying the ride - it's not over yet, that's for sure.

Not yet, but I think the reciprocal side of the cycle is probably a whole lot closer than you think.

Could be another 20-40% in Central Auckland before interest rate rises slow things down.
Wmere/GLynn/Pnsby up 7% over the winter quarter.

I hope the cycle is not over yet SK,  as I want to sell (held the property long term) and grab the cash !!
Just gotta be careful and wise,  as its always hard picking the top of the market.

Chris J and SK are probably the most onto it property commentators on this site. BH sure was wrong, but then he could never have foreseen the feeding frenzy generated by 5% interest rates.
Most likely that inner city property prices will increase another 20% by the end of summer with the increases rippling out west, north and south Auckland then throughout the rest of the larger cities of NZ.
The banks usually put out a special tempting spring mortgage rate around now and my pick would be 4.99% fixed for 4 or 5 years - sweet!
The feel good factor of rising house prices appears to be injecting confidence into the economy with builders looking to kick back into action and car dealers noticing plenty of new VW's, BMW's etc being financed against the house. The money sure is circulating again.
You would be feeling like a right chump if ya sold your house in central Auckland in 2008/2009 and went renting - prob gone backwards by $200k.

BigBlue - "the money sure is circulating again"
As I recall, total personal debt hasn't dropped much, Govt debt is increasing, and LG debt likewise.
So it has to be debt that is circulating, unless it is migrant money. Looks awfully like a renewal of a ponzi, in lieu of anything else.

Well you can all add in an additional million dollar plus unreported private sale (purchase actually) to those numbers. And no I wasn't that cosy house on mt saint john. I would only buy Bernards house at a 30% discount off previous peak...:-)
President of Property

The goat herder's house next to Bernard's is going to auction in a week or two POP, should be interesting as it last sold (as it is now) in 2009.

Interesting article here from John Bolton at Squirrel Mortgages entitled 'Is Auckland getting speculative?'
I particularly enjoyed these bits:
"When you can buy a house for $530,000 paint it for $10,000 and sell it 4 weeks later for $630,000 as one of my clients just did, there is something not quite right with the market and that invites ongoing speculation."
"Each month we watch perfectly rational clients gradually become Nutters.  Part of our job is to try and keep them rational but it’s hard when they constantly see property slipping beyond their means."

Thanks for posting Gareth, and it certainly echoes what I'm seeing in the market. I've been resistant to become the "nutter", but have felt the pull to do so.... trying to get my first house and keep looking 100k, 200k up-market just to get something that suits my needs. Thankfully though I seem to have retained my sanity because I just don't see the value of paying 600k for a do-up in an average suburb. My time will come, I've just got to be patient. Thankfully, I don't have the drivers of a family/ kids etc to push me toward being a "nutter".

Your plan is to wait for a crash in Auckland prices?

Not necessarily a crash, but an easement to more realistic prices and choice in the market. At the moment, in the areas I'm looking at in Auckland, I'm lucky if a suitable place comes up once every 2-3 weeks, whereas when I was last looking about a year ago, there'd be 2-3 a week. Bugger paying top-dollar for a compromise.
As I said, I've got very little driver to actually buy a place unless it's the right place at the right price, and right now prices are well out of kilter compared to earnings. Interest rates mean a lot less to me than most of my buyer-competition in the marketplace, because unlike most home-buyers I'd be going in with about 50% equity, instead of the now-common 5%.

10 years ago when I first started looking in Auckland, you could buy a do-up in a good suburb for low $200s, but trying to find something really nice ready to move into and put up your feet would cost much much more and would've be extremely difficult to actually secure.
If you'd sat on your hands looking for the perfect house at the perfect price you would never have found it and the market would have run away from you.
If you'd settled for a do-up or something not perfect such as a do-up half width villa in Ponsonby (Herne Bay end) for $230k in 2002, or a cottage in Northcote Point for $150k in 2002 or a do-up bungalow in Mt Eden on a full site for $250k - just imagine where how far ahead of a perma-renter you'd be.

It seems you can now get close to a million dollars ($960k) for a 3 bedroom on a main street with a shared drive in Takapuna (thanks to TV3).

Yes my jaw dropped, even the others at $800k seemed steep. Is the location next to god or something?

Actually I think the $798k and especially the $805k were absolute bargains and I would have bought those if it had been 3 months ago when I was looking for properties in that range.
Clearly offering 4 similar houses at one auction with short notice and tight registration conditions did not get as many genuine buyers as could have been achieved in normal marketing.
My gut feeling is that the one sold for $805k could be put on the market at $895k looking to achieve mid/late $800s.
Those houses were worth close to $700k pre renovation and had a $400k plus reno done, so they were seriously overcapitalised and represented seriously good buying for the lucky buyers.
A similar thing happened when the TV2 show Mitre 10 Dream Home was held in Dunedin about 8 years ago.  The houses were sold for bargain prices (about $190k) when in reality they should have fetched $250k at that time.  One was on sold within a couple of years for about $300k.

Did you just admit *someone* lost money on a house?

You have nutters on the either side, my clients with property portfolios in Auckland are euphoric, continually reminding them to take some money off the table. Few have a systematic, logical approach to investing.
For some it has been all too easy and everyone wants an easy ride, it crowds out the need for real enterprise in NZ, for now that is, in the end we will all pay for that.

What kind of clients?
What do you mean take money off the table?

Esprit; Don't recommend you to wait. I sold my hous in 2008 and has been waiting too long.

Fair enough, but I've also no real attachement to Auckland, it's already overpriced to live here and if it doesn't correct in the next 2-3 years, I'll just move elswehere (in NZ and overseas) where I can live mortgage free from the outset.

The lessson I learnt is never sale before you got one and never listen to any one.

A good lesson, everyone who tries to beat the market should remember.

And people wonder why people leave?
If you're going to pay Australian real estate prices in New Zealand, you may as well pay them in Australia and earn Australian wages.

Dear Loser,
What are you sore about?

I sometimes miss Auckland but I don't miss Aucklanders.
Generally speaking (of course plenty of exceptions), a boring (house prices house prices house prices!!!), introverted, ultra-competitive, selfish, chip on the shoulder, and "dog eat dog" bunch of people   
Adelaideans are generally much friendlier, much more relaxed, open and fair. And people hardly ever talk about house prices. What a change.

If you dont like that, best you dont visit any major cities in any country in the world.

more bullshit, I've lived in Tokyo and San Francisco and house prices almost never came up in conversation

Hey MIA, lucky that you don't live in Brisbane (or QLD) - they all talk about footies (NRL and AFL) which I know bugger all..  Or adventures on their Landcruisers..

MIA, unless you're obsessed with property (as most of us (me in particular) on here are) I don't think you'll find that all normal people talk about is house prices!
Subjects like that would be almost taboo in many social situations.  (BTW In ChCh the only reference to earthquakes you may make in social situations is how poorly the EQC has handled things, mentioning the earthquakes themselves is a no no.)
Perhaps because you became obsessed with prices being too high, you focused on them too much.  It's best just to get on with things rather than worry.  I would have found an opportunity to do something such as building a house, or finding a project where there was a genuine margin, especially when you are involved in the construction industry.
There are opportunities in good suburbs where stand alone leaky (but not that leaky) homes have sold for essentially land value (as low as $400k in good eastern suburbs).  They represent opportunities to rebuild or redesign (maybe only using the roof and foundation and some internal structure) and make an easy entry to development for someone who knows what they are doing (or cheap accommodation while you save for the rebuild).
Alternatively do-ups in Onehunga and improving areas have been available in the $400s in the last couple of years.  Still on the North Shore you can find a reasonable house in the $400s in not distant suburbs.  There certainly have been plenty of opportunities to enter the Auckland market.
In ChCh there are houses on the market under $150k, which are not too bad.  $400k can find a very nice home (even on a big section in a good neighbourhood).
People need to just get on with their lives and stop worrying about worst case scenarios.  Because the most likely scenario is that inflation continues to march along.

@Sore-loser what do you mean? we Aucklanders are much better than the rest of you...

To all property geniuses.  I have have discovered the reason for your genius- "naked politicians from China." 
The circus is in town, but when it leaves....
Follow the price of iron ore- Aussie is going down, hard.  And so are we.  Their banks are our banks. 
Keep renting.  Happy Renter

On My way ,Animal Lover....can you sort that wind problem out  before I get there, plays havoc with my hairdoo....I 'm sporting a Donald Trump in ash weasel, can't find anything less than a two pack expoxy to keep it looking natural.

You could GIVE me a house in Wellington and I still wouldn't live there. I assume when you say cognitive disconance you actually mean cognitive dissonance, so explain to me the cognitive dissonance Wellingtonians display when they say they enjoy living but then dwell in Wellington?

I'll cede the point on Auckland being a cultural desert, but if Auckland is a desert Wellington is Mars! Toast Martinborough (crap wine and crap weather), the Sevens (Wellingtonians getting pissed again - how refreshing), and WOW (possibly the worst attempt at an acronym in the world - wearableart is NOT one word!). Did I miss anything? No. I lived over the road from the Michael Fowler Centre For People Who Can't Design Good for a year, and there wasn't one thing worth going to. By contrast I've been to tons of things at the Sydney Opera House (even Aussies can design a decent Arts building).

All the bars along Courtney are embarassingly bogan and wouldn't be out of place in Hamilton, there is one semi-decent nightclub (Sandwiches), and a smattering of cafes that would be OK if they weren't so overly hyped and ridiculously crammed because it's always too cold to drink coffee outside (that cafe at Lyall Bay for example - ghastly place).

I thought at first that Wellingtonians were being ironic when they say "you can't beat it on good day" because everywhere else in NZ beats it on a good day, but then I realised Wellingtonians don't understand irony and are so parochial and insular they actually think it's true! Amazing!

I would gladly pay $600k to live in a nice part of NZ without any dissonance involved - I know exactly why I would stump up that much to live in Auckland and NOT live in Wellington. So do nearly half of the NZ population as well it would seem.

Rant over.

Gee Stanley Wellington off then...! Crikey mate, what heppened to you down there, did you ask for a latte at a Bogan Burger that what you did Stanley...? cause it takes a bit to rile em up down there, but that would be like wearing a Jaffa shirt n callimg them soft.

Haha just lost a year of my life living there. Took a few months to notice that my life was seriously going to crap, despite having a good job and girlfriend and the general buzz of living in a previously unexplored city which I totally love. After another month or two of soul searching I finally pinned down the cause - it wasn't me or anything I had in my life or was doing wrongly - it was just Wellington.

Since I had several more months after that Damascus-Road-like revelation before my contract was up I really tried my best to enjoy it - met some good people (most of whom have had the good sense to leave as well), tried all the 'cultural' (and I use that term lightly) events that Wellington had to offer, explored the surrounds, did my best to avoid hypothermia etc.

But to no avail. I moved back to Auckland and then to Sydney. And you know what? - my life improved immeasureably from the day I drove north up that god-awful highway (another grammatical distortion - it's the worse road out of a city since the Romans first invented roads) out of Wellington, and kept on inproving all the way to Auckland.

So now I feel it's my calling to roundly slag off Wellington at every opportunity to warn people NOT to move there, like I wish someone had done to me. If I can save just one life by convincing them not to move to Wellington, it'll be worth it.


I'm actually in the country an hour north of Auckland, don't own a car, and if you get mortgage stress just from having one, then I guess I'm as stressed as anyone still in hock to the bank. But if you knew why I have a mortgage now when I previously didn't then you'd understand that for all it's stress it's the lesser of two evils, for which I am greatful.

And your use of the phrase Wherever you go, there you are is interesting, because I used to say exactly that. And while it's true to some extent, it doesn't account for the fact that your surroundings can affect your mood - why else do we all go to Fiji or Raro for holidays if we'd be just as happy in our back yard?  It also explains why I choose to live in Sydney instead of, say, Huntly. It's not because of an aversion to coal.

The world is a weird and wonderful place, so weird and wonderful in fact that there are people who actually enjoy living in Wellington. That absolutely amazes me, but then there are people still living in places like Chenobyl, so it takes all sorts I guess.
It's good that your small mortgage affords you the opportunity to fly to Auckland quite often, that must help relieve the boredom and assist with staying warm blooded.
Thwok! (sound of ball being lobbed back over to your side of the net :-)

forgot to mention - the nearest neighbours I can see are approx 1km away as the crow flies, so a bit of a stretch for them to look in my window. It's just a lockwood with extra bits (5 beds 2 baths) but has a lot of glass to take advantage of the panoramic farm/bush/sea views, yet is so warm and sunny it doesn't have a fire nor does it need one or a wetback. While the back of the 2 hectare section is windy enough to power a decent wind turbine (I used to have one), the house sits on a north-facing slope and is sheltered from everything but the welcome summer easterly breezes.

Far enough away from Auckland that they don't even know it's there, but an hours drive if I choose to visit. Locals only beach access through a multi-squillion dollar farm than runs for 20km along one of the most beautiful and unspoilt east coast beaches in NZ. You can usually find me at the beach around Christmas and NY - I'm easy to spot because often we are the only ones for 10km each direction. Sometimes there may be one or two other neighbours a few hundred metres away. Sometimes we throw a net out overnight to stock up the fridge and freezer with fish. Some mornings I pop down to my neighbours cowshed with a very clean jug and scoop up some milk from the vat that's still warm. Or go horse-riding along the beach. Or wander through the 700-odd acres of pristine bush behind my house. Or take a short drive to any number of fantastic beaches and cafes and wineries....

And all for just $400k. try getting all that in Wellington for the same price...

Really...Stanley is that true...come on matey, your not in Matakana, Warkworth,Pakiri at 400 k now are you..?
 So your in Kaipara...?

Tomarata Christov. Yes all true, although admittedly I have spent $100k on the place (lawns should only exist if they are flat and having a mowing strip around the edge) and it's current value is closer on 600k now, but there are still chunks of land going around Te Arai etc for between $200k to $350k, and you can get a good house built for not too much*

The beach is the bit between Pakiri and Te Arai. There's a paper road that isn't formed across the farm off Pakiri Block Rd, but the nice farm owners have built a gravel road that leads to a clearing in the forest right by the beach and they have a padlocked gate to which they change the combination on the lock every few months and kindly let everyone in Tomarata know.

A small Auckland-ish factoid that will make Animal Lover chuckle - Omaha beach, which is now the spot for the rich and world famous in NZ to have a holiday home (and is even more hideous than whatever you are currently imagining it is) used to be a small unspoilt bit of farmland with a cluster of old baches back in the 80's when I first started surfing the area. The paddock where we used to park our cars at the end of the road by the boardwalk through the dunes is now a full-on subdivision, and the spot where the trusty surfmobile used to be parked is now a road called... I'm not making this up... 'Success Close' !

That pretty well sums up my attitude to Aucklanders.
* 600k is still cheap for all that. Nowhere in or near Wellington can offer the same at any price.

Omaha'a great when it actually goes off, spring tides  and it will pump again Pakiri to bits....used to frequent there and Daniels a bit more than the wife would have liked, but so too do I love the west coast...for it's reliability .
 Anyhoo ....good on you....well done, and yes cheap at the price round there, very beautiful, plenty fruit stalls n wotnot in season too......what the hell am I doing here....? oh yeah that's right the wifey thing....better go get ready for the Symphony or whatever.
Enjoy yourself Stanley. 

Yes Omaha does have it's days, as does Tawharanui,  but mostly when I am home I take the Primal out to Te Arai - it's only 7km away and I find what they have done to Omaha a bit too depressing, as well as any half decent summer swell hitting Omaha Bar being swamped by chubby middle-age men on Mals and swarms of fat kids on esky lids.

Pakiri was magic back in the 80's and early 90's before they dredged the sand away and killed the dunes by the campsite  - the stream created a fantastic sandbar.
Daniels reef when it's on is epic! Best wave on the whole east coast. I had a magical (read: wetsuit-browning) moment with an extremely large killer whale on that very reef, one of those occasions where for a brief moment you feel very alive.

I actually learnt to surf at Piha of all places, before I moved north. Many happy memories of sitting on the beach at 5am waiting for some light in the sky, and of getting trashed by walls of water in the keyhole, or trying to make it out the back on a particularly big day and getting swept across the front of Lion Rock onto North Piha before giving up and joining everyone else in the carpark watching the swell. Drinking tea and reading the paper by the old shop at 8am, having surfed for 2 hours and then bailed when the crowds arrived. Magic. Had a few fantastic days at Karekare as well - loved that beach.

Did you ever walk along the track from South Piha to Karekare? And stop at Mercer Bay along the way and use the ropes that were nailed into the cliff to climb down the really steep bits?
what the hell am I doing here....?
where is here Christov?

Did you ever walk along the track from South Piha to Karekare? And stop at Mercer Bay along the way and use the ropes that were nailed into the cliff to climb down the really steep bits?

Absolutely. love Karekare....left to right....Not to mention getting sucked off the face at  The Crescent.. Sth a strong Sth  Easterly..boom...straight out to the back in the rip, no paddling..... perfect.,,,return.
Port waikato.....sth break chips you ever ate. and on it goes all the way up to Shipwreck Bay ..autiful. Jaffa land Central......still a great spot tro strike out from, although it's kyaking these days...plenty fish in season...good for the mind n body.
Gave up the launch...G+T's and associated company that goes with the territory , thing I ever did......10 days to first serious fish for the season whoohoo..!

ah Shippies, Henderson Bay etc, you are making me homesick!

Occasionally I get to see Piha Rescue, and have to wonder sometimes if I'm not just a bit lucky - went out consistently for a few years on big swell days and never once got into trouble. Not quite that fit anymore unfortunately, hence the East Coast is more my style these days.

Oh that's another thing I forgot to mention about Wellington - I went out once, at Lyall Bay, in January after surfing up north in a springy, and even in a full steamer it was still cold, there was one peak and a load of close out options and about 100 guys in the water. Totally totally lame. The first place i ever surfed was Castlepoint, but who wants to mission there for a freezing wave? 

So I guess deep down that's why I really hate Wellington - no decent beaches and no decent surf. Nothing can make up for that lack of those two essential geographical features. 


Wherever you go, there you are ...
I think Stanley  was just finishing the sentence for you above Animal Lover ( I've seen down on the farm BTW) as in ......
Wherever you go, there you are.....miserably unhappy, nauseous, bilious, unsettled , homesick...or  Joyous, hungry,relaxed, feeling at can have the most remarkable effect on positivity and general health for many people.
Conrad Smith likes Wellington.....I'm glad he does, he'd be wasted in the Blues.

Oh sorry I am very happy you enjoy living in Wellington. Someone has to. And it's great that you got some sunshine to walk in and that you are making the most of those opportunities to do so, given that they are so few and far between...

Having lived in Auckland, Wellington, Sydney, London, that undefinable bit of New Zealand between Auckland and Northland that has no name (Rodney sounds so lame) and .... Wanganui *ahem* I was happiest with London but am still loving Sydney. 22 degrees this morning for my daily stroll through Hyde Park to the office (where I am, according to KiwiSue, a wage-slave LOL).

You never cease to impress me AL - not only living in Wellington but diving in the coastal waters! Perish Forbid!* You are much braver than I thought. I never go diving anywhere where anything more than a rash vest is required. I will think of your bravery in November when I am diving the waters of the Great Barrier Reef under the umbra of a full solar eclipse. When was the last time you did that in Wellington? Exactly. :-)
* the mixed metaphor was deliberate. I’m not afraid to call a spade a kettle.

Boy, what a pissing match that was. Personally, I believe most places on this fair earth have something going for them. I am inclined to be more attracted to a place that has something going for it, while not forcing me to suffer stupidly large mortgage dominating my existence, FOR LIFE... So it's either;

  • Make enough money to pay cash (or close to) in an over-priced place like AKL and take on the risk I will lose some of my capital in a correction.
  • Live in a place like WGTN which in its own way is a spectacular city as far as terrain and geography are concerned, while enjoying the spring in my step that comes not being under the yolk of banks et al.
  • Take my money to buyers markets, wait for the local upswing (thereby maintaining buy low, sell high ethos), while continue to rent cheaply in AKL, or wherever I want to for that matter. And yea, Thailand is nice.

Buffett; "Be afraid when everybody else is greedy, and greedy when everybody else is afraid."
Would he be buying in AKL right now? I doubt it.
Number 3 takes it, for now.