On a quiet day, 2 apartments on the auction list, there’s only one bidder in the room and nobody on the phone… Barfoot & Thompson chief auctioneer Murray Smith tried: “$200,000?” he asked for the first lot up, a 63m² leasehold one-bedroom apartment on the western side of Princes Wharf (arrowed). The bidder thought half that was a better starting point.
Mr Smith suggested $130,000, $135,000, “What about $150,000?” A bidder standing outside the room got him past that lowered starting point, $5000 more and the unit was passed in.
Next up, the repurposed 121 Newton Rd (it was once a motel, now all apartments & renovated). No bidders available, no bid.
Property markets go through this kind of cyclical downturn, but that doesn’t mean the whole market heads uniformly in the same direction. For example, in a separate item today, I wrote about the 377 bids on a commercial property up for auction yesterday, bidding that took the price 33% above the figure the property went on the market at.
Early last year there was a resurgence of Chinese interest in Auckland property after some clamps were placed on overseas investment, but then new restrictions came into force on Chinese exporting of funds and, in New Zealand, restrictions on overseas investors.
So far, the impacts have been a reduction in stock going to market, evidence of price cuts but not drastic ones. But when the auctioneer is the only person available to bid, well, downward seems the most likely market direction – or an investor will see the opportunity among the sad faces and collect a bargain.
Princes Wharf, 147 Quay St, shed 22, unit 1:
Features: leasehold, 63m², one bedroom, balcony
Outgoings: body corp levy $8940/year, ground lease $17,000/year, increases now capped at the greater of CPI or 3%/year
Outcome: passed in at $160,000
Agents: Stephen Shin & David Lee
Newton Rise, 121 Newton Rd, unit 5C:
Features: furnished one bedroom, study, balcony, basement parking space
Outgoings: body corp levy $4108/year
Outcome: no bid
Agent: Casey Chen