More properties are being auctioned but fewer are being sold at Barfoot & Thompson's auctions

Auction activity has picked up at Barfoot & Thompson over the last few weeks but that has not been matched by an increase in sales clearance rates.

Last week tthe agency, which is the biggest in Auckland by a substantial margin, marketed 169 residential properties for sale by auction and sold just a quarter of them (see chart below).

Those numbers exclude properties that were auctioned on site because the results of those auctions have not been released, but they generally make up only a small number of the properties auctioned in any week.

In the previous week Barfoot marketed 183 properties for sale by auction and achieved sales on 38% of them.

At Barfoot's major auctions last week, sales  rates were 20% at Manukau and 28% on the North Shore.

At the auction at the company's Shortland St rooms on 10 November, where most of the properties on offer were in west Auckland, the sales rate was just 12%.

Properties in the central Auckland suburbs continue to sell more readily, with the sales rate at the Shortland St rooms on 8 November, where the properties offered were in suburbs such as Epsom and Remuera, was 32%.

Details of most of the properties offered, including the prices achieved on most of those that sold, can be viewed on our Residential Auction Results page.

Barfoot & Thompson Auction Results 6-12 November 2017
Date Location Sold* Not sold* Total % Sold
6-12 November On site  - - - - -  Results Not Available - - - - -
7 November Manukau 5 20 25 20%
7 November  Shortland St, CBD. 4 6 10 40%
8 November Shortland St, CBD. 12 26 38 32%
8 November Pukekohe 1 7 8 13%
9 November North Shore 13 34 47 28%
9 November Shortland St, CBD 4 7 11 36%
9 November Kerikeri, Northland. 1 4 5 20%
10 November Shortland St, CBD. 3 22 25 12%
Total (excluding on site auctions)   43 126 169 25%
*Sold includes properties sold under the hammer or by 5pm the day after the auction. Not sold includes properties that remained unsold after 5pm the day after the auction, or that had their auction date postponed or cancelled.


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

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment or click on the "Register" link below a comment.

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



Someone said it before. San Francisco prices without the San Francisco salaries.


Its obvious where this market is going. DOWN.

But it might well move up next week - or the week after.

Such is the nature of markets.


So might the market for poo but I ain’t buy any of it.

There is nothing positive on the horizon for the housing market but here are some negatives coming down the pipe:

• reduced migrarion
• tax changes
• higher interest rates
• increasing construction

So the odds of a recovery look slim.

Which is why the housing market sentiment has also plumeted;

Not to mention the pin pulled on the most evident of foreign buyers in recent years


Yikes! It's a pretty dire situation when agents market properties that are most likely to sell by auction result in these figures. No area is immune from this slump we are entering. On the brighter note, they finally sold one in Pukekohe - YAY!


Professionals knows when to cut their losses; amateurs, hang on till their bankruptcies.

Rofl its actually exactly the opposite; amateurs panic sell, professionals typically don't.

You're a smart man Laminar, one of the few ...

How would you rate your confidence levels with respect to predicting the future Yvil?

The question I wonder about is why agents still recommend to the vendors to go to auction. Some houses maybe but the plain vanilla ones you see that have an agent and the household dog alone at open homes - Not.

They push vendors into auctioning their homes for two reasons
One the make a nice chunk of change extra auctioning
Two it softens up the vendor nicely after the property is passed in to accepta lower asking price
NZ would have some of the most corrupt auction practices anywhere with houses being bid up by the selling agents company even though some say they do not do It anymore
Re agents are pretty much the same here Hopeless opportunistic leeches

Interesting to evaluate some of the sale numbers, as a couple of the properties have previously sold in the past twelve months - two properties show drops of 5-ish% in the last year but one selling at an increase.

ex socialist, the one that showed an increase - do you know if it was renovated?

I always check a few sales with QV when new sales come through
commonly there is not much discounting - this time
14 Libnai Avenue - prev $729k, agent's site refers to new carpet and ducted air con
79a Manukau rd - 13 jan $765k;
64 Medvale ave 12 dec 2016 for $864K

ouch!... 5% drop in a year! Imagine selling at a FIFTY THOUSAND Dollar loss... then add auction and RE fees... it'll be closer to 70k loss...

Some of these may be traders picking up a loss. They wont care, they made a fortune over the last 7 years, they all take losses from time to time. I just wish they would pay their bloody tax.

Laminar, specuvestors are just serving themselves to IRD on a platter. If en mass they are timing their exit in this falling market and some successfully exit with a profit, it's harder for them to prove they didn't purchase for the purpose of resale in the first instance. Brightline or no brightline test, it's the initial intention.

Zach, as I requested before, please continue with your analysis.

Zachs at doctor getting a scrip for Valium

Most would not have made a fortune as most "investors" I know bought in the last 2 years to follow the herd at irrational yields and now with a declining capital value.

Tui12 generalizing your personal experience is ridiculous. Almost all investors have been in the market for a long time. Only a tiny fraction of the investing market started in the last 2 years. You think you can get home ownership rates falling for decades with a sudden surge of investor buying in the last 2 years...

Wouldn't be surprised if talk breaks out about "ünder water mortgages" and how banks media releases speak of being proactive in finding win-win solutions for worried owners. Now that banks have been there and done that with interest only repayments and repayment holidays, what room is there! What happens behind the scenes is something else.

'Rabobank joins ASB, Kiwibank and TSB in the search for a new CEO, with BNZ also recently announcing NAB's Angela Mentis will succeed Anthony Healy from January'

Is this why the Bank CEOs are resigning in hordes?

Good way to clear your stock options while still on record profit settings

Thats why captain John K. left the ship - a bit more in time though.

Bargain hunters will arrive shortly from the far East.. Just don't give in

Again some pretty good results for those that were successful. Eleven more Auckland properties since my last sales/RV comparison. Total sales of 14.360M with an RV of 9.095M giving a result of 57% above RV. Last result 56%. For 23 properties 56.78% above RV.

Possibly a good buy. This one for 540K only 20% above RV of 450K.
Would be a contender for an investor as rent return would equal mortgage interest...possibly. Or suitable for an FHB. What do you think?

Depends on who your neighbor is? Shared drive way as well as living almost right next door (1m apart) can go disasterious if new owner got gangster/thieves or party hooligans as neighbor. My guess is vendor selling because of neighbor problem.

The other property on the section went for auction as well but didn't sell. A property investor with a single dwelling worth 1.1M earning 650 a week in rent could have sold and bought both and got 960 in rent instead.

Laminar...your observations appear to be focused on one corner of the property market. Key looked at all the corners of the Auckland property market in '16. He could see an approaching decline in Auckland property prices. He sold. Leaving investors who bought in '14 '15 '16 and '17 in situations of gloom and doom. The evidence is available for all of us to see, on the net. Do the research. Easy peasy. An example. One of many. An investor paid $1,250,000 for a typical 3bd home and section in Nov. '16. Failed to reach the reserve at auction in Oct. '17 Advertised for sale 18th Oct.'17 @ $779,000. In the Mercury power zone. Auckland city. It's an extreme example but real. Is the owner a hopeless investor or a money launderer? Regardless, he is a contributor to the Auckland housing crisis created by Key the money man. Right. Auckland house price correction? Hell that was '16. It's going to be much deeper in '18.

Would have been good to have a link to your example otherwise it's kind of useless. An extreme and odd example. Could have been a sale to a related party or something like that. Also the RV of the property. No link? Didn't happen!

Hi Tkore and others,

It might well be that Key will look back on the sale in 5-10 years time and thinks the purchaser got a bargain. "Why did I sell for a paltry $20million in 2017?"

I doubt that Key's Parnell mansion will ever be worth less than what he sold it for.

And you are most unwise to suggest that Key sold for purely financial reasons. He always said he would move on from his Parnell mansion: kids have left home, no longer PM, wanted something more manageable and smaller, etc etc. In other words, lifestyle and life cycle factors.

A problem with this blog is that people come here with deeply ingrained biases - to the point where they only consider the arguments that support their views/prejudices. Many are disaffected - and of left wing persuasion. So the posts here are hardly representative of a cross-section of New Zealanders.

And, of course, many (most?) who come here dislike John Key because he's successful - by just about any measure. They sit around brooding about him. (But I doubt he sits around brooding about them.)



This one's for you from your mates over at Property Talk. Read Chris W post:


Simply disagree. Akl has been pushed to stupid levels by a range of factors, most notibly super cheap credit and foreign and domestic speculation leveraging said credit. Domestic debt stacking picked up steam when Cullen introduced his envy tax, and Nat has simply fueled that behaviour by super charging immigration and is scam like international eduction policys. Add to that no policy that protected the averageman from these external factors for the last 20 years you have the mess we have now.

I would suggest that the "its all good".."it only goes up" team is the one that is now simply incorrect. Happy that capital appreciation happens over time, but the levels of the last 10 years are just nuts, unless you are in it for speculation in capital gain and not yield.

And yes I am one who has greatly benefitted from the gains, but I still think the levels of gains are extreme and well out of historical long term norm. The impact has been 500k plus young kiwis taking their 13 plus free years of tax funded education to Queensland. Equals limited kiwi candidates for anything at home and no tax revenue return from tax funded start to life. How can that be good?

GMs link simplifys the three positions nicely. Camp 1. Its all pink unicorns for growth and nothing can stop it. Camp 2 the maths is broken and has been for ages. When music stops there will be carnage. Camp 3 investing based on heresay (eg reads and believes Herald)

I am in camp 2.

Edit...what happens in Aussie...

I'm definitely in camp 2. Long term fundamentals should not be ignored and we will return to them. Valuations are stretched by every measure. I feel the coming slump will be frustratingly long and brutal. Some investors thrive in this environment as they are cashed up and already waiting patiently on the sidelines for TRUE bargains from distressed sales. They are experienced and have recognised this facade for what it really is - an opportunity to make money from the naive decisions of others.

So, um, when did being of "left wing persuasion" become a hanging offence?

That would appear to be your suggestion, PocketAces. (Nobody else here has suggested that.)

I'm happy with right/centre/left views to be represented - but when one group dominates (as the left does in this blog) then it skews the debate. People ought to be aware of that.


It is a financial website, so there will be selection bias of those that understand (or, want to understand) finances more than norm. Hence, your views are likely in the minority as you fundamentally seem to not agree that the maths in the Auckland housing market is broken.

Now, it's anyone's guess how or when it will unwind, but unwind it will, because that's what always happens. The longer that's ignored, the worse it gets.

I guess there’s no need for analysis anymore
TOTHEPOINT has spoken “ I doubt that Keys Parnell mansion WILL EVER be worth less than $20Million”
Wanna BET ?
I’ll bet you now it will drop below 20 mill

It could easily become "priceless" (value cannot be determined due to absence of a buyer)

I notice increasingly that the Bulls refuse to respond to the well established notion, that prices generally settle back to long term growth trajectories. And if you do look at the long term growth of house prices in NZ, you immediately see that the last 7 years or so, went way way way above the long term growth norm.

The bulls often also flatly refuse to discuss the fundamentals that apply to healthy long term markets linked to things like inflation, wages and productivity. They will always cite the fundamentals that support their beliefs (ie high immigration) and ignore the ones that don't. And at this point, it's worth noting that immigration is still at record highs, but somehow housing inventory in both buying and renting are increasing and sale are decreasing. How can this be if there is a shortage of houses? Because there are CLEARLY other psychological and fundamental factors at work in the market.

Admittedly, additional factors can affect these long term trends... immigration, building rates, land availability etc, and undoubtedly these have been significant factors to this bubble. But even immigration, building rates and land availability can be cyclical and at the whimsy of changing political sentiments etc. It's foolhardy to suggest that simply because immigration had been high, that it will always be high.

I do actually agree with certain commentators here (ie Zachary) to an extent that "western" english speaking countries have a certain soft power, and cache that will lend itself to a sustained appeal in terms of migration, but politics can utterly negate that factor (i.e Brexit etc). So I don't think that sustained high immigration is inevitable for that reason.

QE has undoubtedly had a huge impact on asset prices the world over. And the sustained existence of QE is not guaranteed or even predictable at this stage. But yet another example of a fundamental factor affecting house prices, that the bulls simply refute or ignore, heavily implicating their own bias and emotional subjectivity.

Well put. Bulls also don't like to call things bubbles.

I think we need to be clear who are being referred to as Bulls
The bulls here are merely full of bull
They would not last a week in WallSt

Hi Gingerninja,

You write, "And if you do look at the long term growth of house prices in NZ, you immediately see that the last 7 years or so, went way way way above the long term growth norm."

With all due respect, that's exactly what one expects when there's a structural shift that impacts on a market....... It has a "shock" effect which means a market adopts a different growth trajectory (higher or lower) than the historical one. Structural shifts are fundamentally different from cyclical movements (as in "business cycles"). They are well-described in economics literature (both theoretical and applied).

Of course, it's not just property where this can happen. Think of the "oil shocks" of the past, and of military equipment during WW1 and WW2. (There are many examples.)

Thus, it would be unhelpful to suggest that when a structural shock impacts on a market, that there has been a market failure, or that the market has become "unhealthy". (Free) markets merely respond to changing circumstances (supply and demand); allocating/rationing commodities via the price mechanism.

Finally, the above is a standard/orthodox explanation. It has nothing to do with any "bias" of the writer, or "emotional subjectivity".


Would you like to expand on what makes it a structural shift and not a cyclical or sentiment based shift? What prevents an equally shocking structural shift downwards?

I think TTP thinks he/she can control (or predict) peoples irrationality.

Hi Independent Observer,

You write, "I think TTP thinks he/she can control (or predict) peoples irrationality."

I very much doubt it.

I'd have thought that sort of insight/response would require the talents of someone like yourself.


Hi Mister B,

The cyclical/structural topic has been covered many times here over the last 2-3 years - by myself and numerous other contributors.

You've been coming here long enough....... You should be well familiar/conversant with the subject area by now. (It's not rocket science.)


TTP you have only been a member on this site for 9 months. Who was your profile handle for the previous years proceeding that?

Hi GingerNinja,

I began visiting/perusing this site long before I registered and started making contributions. I'm familiar with the content of topics discussed going back several years now.

I have only ever contributed under the moniker tothepoint (abbreviated to TTP).


TTP, what was it that you wrote above? "The cyclical/structural topic has been covered many times here over the last 2-3 years - by myself and numerous other contributors."

GJ is appropriate in challenging your assertion in regards to the time line of your contributions to this site. At this point, I'd suggest that not only is your point not sharp, it is also not making a point. TTP/MTP... your contributions are not well accepted if one looks at the up thumbs ratings. I'll note carefully that the "up" ratings are exactly that, up only. The ratings are not negated by down votes on this site. So, if you get 2 up votes, it means that a total of two people think that your input has enough merit to gain two "up" votes. It has been a while since I've seen a post of yours that has more than two up votes...

Literally judging posts by up votes. too good, too funny!

Hah - hoist with his own petard, eh - LOL..

Hi Yankiwi,

I don't come here to win popularity points!

It's not the least bit important to me to be "well accepted" here.

Clearly, it's easy to be popular here. All one need do is parrot "the property market is crashing" over and over - and one will soon gather a large number of "thumbs up" ratings from the comrades.

Personally, I'm not interested in pandering to the biases of the crash-yearning majority who post here. And I have no interest whatsoever in who's winning the popularity stakes because I think that's fatuous - mindless and silly. (There are more important things to think about.)

Nonetheless, if "thumbs-up" popularity is how you judge contributors here, then that's fine with me...... But my criteria will continue to be knowledge, skill in analysis/interpretation, as well as a diversity of well-considered viewpoints.

P.S. Concerning the cyclical/structural discussion on this website, it's been well canvassed in the three years or so since I first accessed the site. I've made a number of contributions/posts on the topic myself since I became registered as a member (about nine months ago).

If I may, I do recall asking you to name but one truly structural change in the NZ market a few months ago.

Interestingly, you weren't able to until your buddy ZS helped you out. Ironically the things you parroted from ZS weren't structural factors.

You say that to be popular you need to be some doomsdayer egging on a crash.
You couldn't be more wrong. All you need to do is have a coherent, consistent, and logical perspective. I know I often upvote posts that I don't agree with, but do so based on the content and pertinence of the comment to the topic. I dare say many others here are the same.

The upvotes don't always tell the story, but on the balance of probabilities (with a very biased sample at they should still be a pretty good indicator of a good comment versus a bad one. So don't kid yourself that your distinct lack of them isn't relevant.

Hi nymad,

I clearly recall that, despite building econometric models, you claimed you did not know what "structural" meant!

Then, when I listed relevant structural factors, including major DEMOGRAPHIC change, you quickly disappeared in your embarrassment.

Have you really not heard me discuss DEMOGRAPHIC factors before???? Where's your credibility, Nymad?

For the record, I also mentioned environmental issues - including geophysical and climate change, national/international security (including biosecurity), transportation, technology, resource availability (including factor mobility), globalisation (a huge issue for small isolated economies like NZ), intra-industry issues, and changing patterns of regional and national development.

ALL of the above can impact on NZ housing markets - in a way which is not merely cyclical.

Nymad - you have a short and faulty memory. Nothing about you has changed, my so-called "econometrician" friend......


You can look at the comment thread, if you wish.

Plus, we were specifically talking about structural factors between the periods of 2012 and 2017 and I was asking for specific instances.
It's not good enough to just rattle of a general list like you just did, without context.

Demographics - how have they structurally changed in the past 5 years in New Zealand? You mean to imply that we have a higher productivity workforce? Well, that's just categorically wrong.

Environmental issues - How have they structurally changed NZ in the past 5 years?
Transportation - Have we suddenly changed the dynamic from roading to rail or coastal shipping? I dun't think so.
Technology - What's happened there? Technology impacting productivity has been declining since the Toilet was invented.
Globalisation? - If you read the literature that started in 1985 (especially so for NZ because that's when we floated the NZD)and has been growing in impact since then. The real structural changes with that came in the 90s and 2000s with the increase in internet access. It definitely hasn't structurally changed in this decade.
Changing patterns of regional and national development - examples? If you want to write a paper, the RBNZ and MBIE would be extremely interested is demonstrating the effect of domestic factor reallocation due to house prices. It will flow in a different direction to what you assume, though.

Hi Nymad,

Your response, unsurprisingly, has no credibility. You can't bluff me.

Have you considered the impact of high population growth on the Auckland housing market?

Have you considered the geophysical impact of the ChCh earthquakes on the ChCh housing/rental market (as well as the labour market and various other markets)?

Have you considered the impact of Auckland's transport/traffic problems on particular suburb/local house markets in Auckland?

Have you considered the impact of terrorism abroad on the desirability of NZ as a safe haven destination in which to live?

The reality is that NZ markets cannot (and do not) escape the impact of structural shifts.

I could go on with plenty more examples......

At this point, however, I'm reminded of the time-honoured wisdom: "arguing with a fool only makes you look like one".


Christchurch - the only cyclical housing market in NZ over the past 10 years.
So, I don't know what you mean by there being a structural change due to geophysical factors there.

High population growth - another cyclical factor. Look at a net migration graph - there has been no structural shift to elevated levels.

Auckland's transport? - that's a negative factor on house price growth and it's not structural. The rate of car ownership is also cyclical.

Terrorism - Again, that isn't a structural factor. Wars, violence is cyclical. If anything we are now living in the most peaceful time on record.

At this point, however, I'm reminded of the time-honoured wisdom: "arguing with a fool only makes you look like one".
- Does that mean that I need to stop arguing with you?

Hi Nymad,

You're struggling to make it up as you go along.

Best advice for Nymad: "When you're in a hole, don't keep digging". (Save yourself further embarrassment.)


TTP, your mate Ron has been a little media shy as of late - he might be busy dishing out refunds to the disillusioned: