Archive | Apartments

3-apartment auction attracts no bid

All 3 apartments taken to auction at Barfoot & Thompson’s city office this morning were passed in without a bid being offered.

Image above: The Wiltshire, across Victoria St from the SkyCity casino & hotel, is unusual for providing owners with extra income from a billboard on the western side. Behind it in the picture, Conrad Properties’ Victoria Residences apartment development is nearing completion.



Eclipse, 156 Vincent St, unit 7C:
Features: 62m², 2 bedrooms
Outgoings: body corp levy $5079/year
Outcome: no bid, back on the market at $590,000
Agents: Bett Shao & Rico Zhao

Victoria Quarter

Wiltshire, 89 Victoria St West, unit 8A:
Features: 88m², 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, balcony; the building earns owners $125,775/year + gst from a billboard up the western side
Outgoings: body corp levy $4237/year
Income assessment: $630/week, fixed until 28 February
Outcome: no bid
Agent: Jason Buckwell

Lord on Nelson, 11 Nicholas St, unit 7A:
Features: 131m², corner 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, enclosed balcony, tandem carpark; the building is leaky and owners launched proceedings against the developer & Auckland Council in 2011; the vendor has agreed to assign rights & obligations from that claim; based on a $6 million remediation estimate (tenders to go out soon), this unit’s repair share would be $294,000
Outgoings: body corp levy $8689/year
Outcome: no bid
Agents: Livia Li & Alan Guo

Attribution: Auction.

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More apartments? Not under this tightening scenario

The political call is for housing that’s more affordable, and more of it. Construction costs militate against the first hope, and a combination of central bank constraints & tightening of commercial bank asset quality ratios is likely to deal with the second.

Auckland specialist apartment agency City Sales, headed by Martin Dunn, has produced its own research – out today – which indicates an easing in supply over the next 3 years and a sharp drop in supply in 2021.

The graph shows a dead market post-global financial crisis, returning to life in 2015 and growing strongly for the last 2 years. This year Mr Dunn expects close to 1500 completions, falling to a range of 1000-1300 over the next 3 years, then dropping sharply to fewer than 500 as regulatory constraints have their impact.

Off-plan stock unsold after regulatory changes

City Sales owner Martin Dunn.

Mr Dunn said the agency’s research was based on fact, not hope. Already, the agency has had parcels of unsold off-the-plans stock in new developments to take to the market after investors failed to proceed with their purchase.

Some had borrowed for their deposit and were unable to produce the balance. Others had to walk away because of the 40% equity ratio now required of investors.

He expects more of that as new developments are completed, and said this week the impact would result in a marked slowdown in development.

“The banks call the shots on supply,” Mr Dunn said in his latest market report.

The big 4 New Zealand banks are Australian-owned, and the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority warned them at the end of July that it would require common equity tier 1 capital ratios of at least 10.5% to meet the authority’s “unquestionably strong” benchmark. That meant all had to tighten their lending and adjust the ratios for different market sectors.

Mr Dunn said City Sales had assessed proposed developments – many not yet unveiled – and determined the likelihood that they’d proceed.

One unknown at the moment is the amount of Chinese money available to China’s overseas developers. Already the screws have tightened on the availability of funds to individuals buying outside China for investment, but the position for developers has been varied.

There were some suggestions emanating from China this week that funding might be freed up, but I haven’t verified that yet.

Other market factors

Other market factors are the returns to investors – who have been integral to making any apartment development work, because they form about 80% of the market, but may have their domination reduced – and development costs.

According to City Sales’ market report – based on figures from its own transactions dating back to 2005, including sales of both new apartments & secondary stock, and from its property management business – average sale prices would continue upward: “Uber, electric cards, congestion & Boomer empty nesters are normalising Auckland central living and it’s an exciting moment. Have a look at K’ Rd these days.”

Mr Dunn said prices of the top secondary stock had eased recently, from $10,000/m² to about $8500/m² as sales volume dropped: “Uncertainty often ‘pumps the brakes’ on a largely investor-driven market, however City Sales sees activity returning to a familiar pace in the coming months.”

Finance, the investor as predator, contributing costs

The City Sales picture is accurate as the market stands. Politicians & bankers can change that overnight. They can also get things wrong, especially when they’re arguing for more supply but activating supply-reducing measures.

One of the ironies has been the clamour to lock investors out. Auckland would have no apartments in its city centre without investors, who were sought in presentations locally, in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong & London over the last 20 years.

Investors in suburban homes have always made up a proportion of the market – as low as 30%, currently about 40%. Their presence has ensured there’s a stock of upgraded homes, something the management of Housing NZ by political windchange has ensured has not been the case with the state-owned stock.

The biggest change has come with the advent of the international investor, seeking to pop money into whichever market offers the best speculative opportunity. Auckland, Australia’s eastern state capitals & some Canadian cities have been prime targets.

That investment is easily regulated. Outside the investment in both new & existing stock, the other 2 cost issues are land price & construction cost. In Auckland, the greater ability to build more intensively through a wide swathe of suburbia will gradually change land costs, more than removing urban boundaries on the perimeters, where major infrastructure installation is required first.

And construction cost? Fletcher Building Ltd took the smart step long ago to create a vertical supply chain, something which makes it hard for any newcomer to match at any supply point. That vertical integration plus the lack of competition generally make it hard to lower material costs, while the construction sector has been slow to adapt to new ways.

City Sales
APRA benchmarks release, 19 July 2017

Attribution: Discussion, City Sales report, APRA.

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Docks unit with parking sells

A leasehold Docks apartment (pictured) plus 4 parking spaces sold at Ray White City Apartments’ auction today, while an Eden Terrace unit attracted no bid.


Quay Park

The Docks, 4 Dockside Lane, unit 138:
Features: terminating leasehold (in 2161) – next review November 2018, 45m², one bedroom, 4 parking spaces (2 tandems); discovery underway for remediation works, now estimated at $8.5 million
Outgoings: rates $1604/year including gst; body corp levy $9687/year including $3722 ground rent
Income assessment: current $490/week for unit + one tandem space, rented long-term
Outcome: sold for $150,000
Agents: Dominic Worthington & Ady Huang

Isthmus west

Eden Terrace

Newton Rise, 121 Newton Rd, unit 4A:
Features: 93m², 2 bedrooms, parking space
Outcome: no bid
Agents: Susan Woods-Markwick & Clarissa Searle

Attribution: Auction.

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4 of 10 apartments & units sell at Barfoots

4 sold out of 10 apartments & suburban units auctioned at Barfoot & Thompson’s city office yesterday & today. The auction offering of a total 20 homes on the agency’s main 2 days compares to 80/day at the peak late last year.


Kitchener St

Metropolis, 1 Courthouse Lane, unit 2006:
Features: 48m², one-bedroom apartment
Outcome: sold for $592,500
Agent: Cindy Yu

Victoria Quarter

Hobson Gardens, 205 Hobson St, unit 2F:
Features: 158m², 3-bedroom apartment, 2 bathrooms, 2 basement parking spaces
Outgoings: body corp levy $5994/year
Outcome: no bid
Agents: Zoran Farac & Stephen Shin

Isthmus east


2 Ellerslie Park Rd, unit 1:
Features: 2-bedroom unit, carport
Outcome: sold for $610,500
Agent: Linda Reid


15 Heretaunga Avenue, unit 4:
Features: cross-lease, 1/7 of 1604m², 2-bedroom unit, carport
Outcome: sold for $590,000
Agent: Paul Hodgman

132A Selwyn St, unit 2 (pictured):
Features: cross-lease, 1/4 of 1163m², 2-bedroom unit, covered patio, 2 parking spaces
Outcome: sold for $670,000
Agents: Jerry & Fong Khoo

St Heliers

244 St Heliers Bay Rd, unit 3:
Features: 3-bedroom unit, 2 bathrooms, internal-access garage
Outcome: passed in at $700,000
Agents: Andrew Pender & Lynette Boyd


Illico, 4 Bluegrey Avenue, unit 410:
Features: one-bedroom top-floor apartment, deck, parking space
Outcome: passed in at $520,000
Agent: Thelina Nuval

Isthmus west


16 Halesowen Avenue, unit 2:
Features: 2-bedroom unit, conservatory, basement garage
Outcome: passed in
Agents: Jim Liu & Coy Zhao

Attribution: Auctions.

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Herne Bay apartment sells

A Herne Bay apartment (outlined in picture) was sold at Bayleys’ city residential auction yesterday, and a Henderson cross-lease was passed in.

Isthmus west

Herne Bay

5 Curran St, unit 6:
Features: renovated one-bedroom top-floor apartment, parking space
Outgoings: body corp levy $3663/year
Outcome: sold for $825,000
Agent: Chris Batchelor



63A Sturges Rd (flat 2):
Features: cross-lease, half share in 1031m², 3 bedrooms, garage + extra parking
Outcome: passed in at $635,000
Agent: Karina Thorburn

Attribution: Auction.

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Ivory & Station R apartments attract no bid

2 apartments in 2 new developments – Conrad’s Ivory and Ockham’s Station R – attracted no bid at City Sales’ auction yesterday. Both developments were sold off the plans.

Isthmus east


Ivory, 10 Lion Place, unit 405:
Features: 52m², one bedroom, flexi-room, deck, parking space
Outgoings: rates & body corp levy to be confirmed
Outcome: no bid
Agents: Alister Nichol

Isthmus west

Mt Eden

Station R, 11 Fenton St, unit 502:
Features: 79m², 2 bedrooms, study, 2 bathrooms, deck, parking space
Outgoings: rates $2402/year including gst; body corp levy $4343/year
Outcome: no bid
Agents: Trisha Shanaghan

Attribution: Auction.

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2 of 6 apartments & units sell

A central city apartment in the Avoka (arrowed) and a suburban unit sold at Barfoot & Thompson auctions yesterday & today, out of 6 on offer.

7 of the 18 homes offered at the 2 Wednesday sessions were sold, including one of the 4 intensive homes (a duplex, a suburban unit & 2 apartments) in the afternoon.

At the Thursday afternoon session, a Mt Roskill brick-&-tile unit sold under the hammer while there was no bid for one in Sandringham.

2 of the 3 standalone houses in the auction were sold.

In the agency’s regular Thursday morning apartments auction, 3 were auctioned and all were passed in (see separate story link below).



Avoka, 31 Day St, unit 10C:
Features: 81m², one-bedroom apartment, balcony, roof deck, covered parking space
Outcome: sold for $330,000
Agents: Jack Atherton & Sherryl Jones

Isthmus east

Royal Oak

14 Campbell Rd, unit 5:
Features: 2-bedroom unit, garage
Outcome: passed in, back on market at $779,000
Agent: Sylvia Lu

Isthmus west

Herne Bay

105 Jervois Rd, unit 3B:
Features: 185m² including balcony, 2-bedroom apartment, 2 bathrooms, study, double garage, storage locker
Outcome: passed in
Agents: George Damiris & Carl Madsen

Mt Roskill

1542 Dominion Rd Extension, unit 4:
Features: 2-bedroom unit, basement, double internal-access garage
Outcome: sold for $690,500
Agents: Kam & Yogesh Dahya


1 Begbie Place, unit 2:
Features: 2-bedroom unit, offstreet parking
Outcome: no bid
Agent: Paresh Patel

Three Kings

4 McCullough Avenue:
Features: 440m² section, 2-bedroom duplex unit + one-bedroom sleepout, bathroom in each unit, carport
Outcome: passed in, back on market at $859,000
Agent: Qi Li

Related story today: All 3 apartments passed in

Attribution: Auctions.

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Leaks & slow market count against apartment sale

An apartment in the Westmount – one of the earlier ventures into city fringe intensification in the mid-1990s, now with an expensive remediation programme – was passed in at Ray White City Apartments’ auction today after 2 low bids, a vendor bid and a $1000 raise on that.

Auctioneer Ted Ingram wanted $50,000 raises to get near a saleable price and lifted the bidding to $200,000 with a vendor bid, before closing on the $1000 raise.

Passing the unit in with no further offers in sight, he commented: “These people want to sell their property, they don’t want to give it away.”

But, like so many who have found they own a leaky building, these owners face a hefty levy, over $263,000 levied a week ago, for their share of an $11 million remediation bill.

They’re also in a market which Chinese investors have almost completely abandoned and where banks are tightening their credit criteria, including increasing the minimum size of apartment they’re likely to lend on.



Westmount, 23 Upper Queen St, unit 4F:
Features: 89m², 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, parking space
Outgoings: rates $1474/year including gst; body corp levy $6396/year
Income assessment: $550/week current, appraisal $630-680/week furnished
Outcome: passed in at $201,000
Agents: Damian Piggin & Daniel Horrobin

Attribution: Auction.

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All 3 apartments passed in

Only one of the 3 apartments auctioned at Barfoot & Thompson today attracted a bid, and it was eventually passed in too.


Albert St

Quay West, 8 Albert St, unit 1705:
Features: 74m², one bedroom, balcony, secure parking space
Outgoings: body corp levy $7104/year + gst (total $8170)
Outcome: passed in at $695,000
Agent: Lily Zhang

Learning Quarter

Darlinghurst, 50 Eden Crescent, unit 1C:
Features: 54m², one-bedroom corner apartment, 3m ceilings, balcony, secure storage locker
Outgoings: body corp levy $4182/year
Outcome: no bid
Agent: Grace Dong

Victoria Quarter

Fiore 2, 168 Hobson St, unit 406:
Features: 67m², 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, balcony
Outgoings: rates $1952/year including gst; body corp levy $3265/year
Income assessment: $680/week current, fixed until 28 February
Outcome: no bid
Agents: Stephen Shin & Yasu Ka

Attribution: Auction.

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Updated: Empire unit goes well over declared reserve

Published 30 August 2017, updated 2 September:
A unit in the Empire apartment building on Whitaker Place (pictured) was sold $40,000 above the $100,000 declared reserve at Bayleys’ auction on Wednesday.

2 other apartments were passed in, but the first of these, in Portland Tower on Queen St, was sold post-auction and the second, in the Hopetoun Residences off Karangahape Rd, is under contract.


Learning Quarter

Empire, 23 Whitaker Place, unit 514:
Features: 3 bedrooms; the body corporate has brought proceedings against Downer EDI Ltd, the developer & builder of the Empire apartments, relying on the watertightness guarantee and has settled another claim; the unit has a deed of lease agreement with Theta Management Ltd (John Chen) and the lease has been extended to 20 April 2026
Outgoings: rates $1214/year including gst; body corp levy $4708/year
Outcome: declared reserve $100,000 + gst, sold for $140,000 + gst
Agents: Dave Hamlyn & Wendy Nichols

Queen St

Updated: Portland Tower, 62 Queen St, unit 12B:
Features: one bedroom, deck, managed by hotel
Outgoings: rates $3995/year including gst; body corp levy $6436/year
Outcome: passed in at $188,000, sold post-auction for $195,000
Agents: Dave Hamlyn & Marcus Fava


Updated: Hopetoun Residences, 15 Hopetoun St, unit 7D:
Features: 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2.7m stud height, parking space, storage room
Outgoings: body corp levy $6156/year
Outcome: no bid, post-auction under contract
Agents: Trent Quinton & Julie Prince

Attribution: Auction documents.

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