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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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Notification sets Whenuapai on course for urbanisation

Auckland Council will publicly notify the proposed plan change tomorrow to rezone 124ha at Whenuapai from the future urban zone to urban zones. The submission period will close on Thursday 19 October and independent commissioners will hear submissions in the first half of 2018.

In the map: The central purple zones are for light industry. The yellow to brown zones are for a range of residential intensities.

It’s the first step in urbanisation of rural Whenuapai and is in the first batch of plan changes under the new unitary plan, now operative in part. Others approved for notification by the council’s planning committee on 5 September were for extension of the Auranga subdivision at Drury and for Fletcher Residential Ltd’s subdivision at the Three Kings quarry.

The plan change for stage 1 development in the south-east corner of Whenuapai provides for 124ha of light industrial land and capacity for 4-5000 homes.

Planning committee chair Chris Darby said a large amount of infrastructure was required for the greenfield area, and the plan change aimed to ensure infrastructure was in place to support all development.

Issues it addresses include managing stormwater run-off and ensuring there are opportunities to enhance the degraded stream & coastal environment, mostly through planting along streams.

The proposed plan change would also protect an historic heritage area in Clarks Lane and an anti-aircraft battery site on Spedding Rd.

Assuming plan change approval, stage 1 construction is likely to occur between 2018-28.

Stage 2 of the larger Whenuapai area is constrained by the new Northern Interceptor wastewater pipeline due to be built in 2026, and transport infrastructure outlined in the supporting growth strategy, which is necessary to support development. A further plan change will be required for stage 2.

Cllr Darby said: Notification of the plan change for stage 1 is a positive sign, showing that we’re moving from the planning phase to actually making land available for real homes that people can live in.

“It follows successful structure planning for the area – the first in a number of structure plans that will eventually pave the way for up to 137,000 new homes in north, north-west & southern greenfield areas.”

Attribution: Council release & committee agenda.

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Summit on Symonds commercial units & Grey Lynn demolition yard sell

3 commercial units on the ground floor of the Summit on Symonds building (pictured), at the corner of Karangahape Rd & Symonds St at the top of the cbd, have been sold by Bayleys agent Millie Liang.

Also sold is a Grey Lynn property currently used as a demolition yard.



Summit on Symonds, 103-105 Symonds St, new retail units on ground floor of apartment building on the corner of Karangahape Rd:

105 Symonds St, unit 9:
Features: 43m² unit occupied by Wash Station NZ laundromat
Rent: 8-year lease from March 2016, 2 4-year rights of renewal, 2% annual rental increases & reviews to market every 4 years       
Outcome: sold for $570,000 at a 5.33% yield
Agent: Millie Liang

103 Symonds St, unit 10:
Features: 40m² unit, parking space, occupied by physiotherapist
Rent: 3-year lease from August, 2 3-year rights of renewal, 2% annual rental increases & reviews to market at renewal
Outcome: sold for $600,000 at a 5.2% yield
Agent: Millie Liang

105 Symonds St, unit 11:
Features: 68m² unit occupied by The Corner Café
Rent: 8-year lease from March 2016, 2 4-year rights of renewal, 2% annual rental increases & reviews to market every 4 years
Outcome: sold for $890,000 at a 5.37% yield
Agent: Millie Liang

Isthmus west

Grey Lynn

18 Westmoreland St:
Features: 2782m² development site zoned mixed use (18m height limit), warehouse & office building of about 1850m², currently used as demolition sales yard
Outcome: sold with vacant possession for $8.5 million at $3055/m²
Agent: Alan Haydock

Attribution: Agency release.

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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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Out of a selldown & rescue, Taurus has built a syndication business ready to grow

In the depths of the global financial crisis, in 2011, Auckland property syndicators Murray Alcock & Allister Knight had one particular syndicate that was going only one way: downhill. Others were shaky, at best.

6 years later, after Christchurch-based Taurus Group Ltd took control of the Aucklanders’ 9 syndicates, investors in that one are looking at daylight, the selldown of the SPI Group syndicates is otherwise almost complete, and Taurus is confident about its own future as a smallscale syndicator.

Taurus Group has 2 arms – its chartered accountancy business headed by Wayne Bailey; and a range of businesses which include capital-raising, property-structuring & syndication, headed by David Kitson (pictured above).

Property syndicate specialist Taurus Management Ltd, part of the capital & finance arm, said on Wednesday it had been granted a licence under the Financial Markets Conduct Act as a manager of managed investment schemes (excluding managed funds) to primarily invest in, or own, real property. It said it aimed to provide good opportunities for investors, mostly in the South Island.

Mr Kitson said the new licence gave the company wider scope to offer managed investment schemes to the public, in addition to the wholesale market. It is now one of 2 managed investment scheme licence holders in the South Island.

Taurus, the early syndication days

But back to the early syndication days of Taurus. In 2011, Taurus began advising SPI Capital Ltd on restructuring its $125 million portfolio of 15 properties in the office, retail & industrial sectors throughout New Zealand and, in 2012, SPI appointed Taurus to wind up the affairs of some of its syndicates.

Taurus has outlined, in an article on its website, its work in trying to deal with the 78 investors in a syndicate that owned a large industrial site in Papakura which had 5 industrial buildings in various states of tenancy & repair, the main tenant in liquidation, and a bank that wanted out.

Taurus persuaded the bank to continue its support rather than force a sale at a large loss, gathered a group of 5 of the syndicate investors willing to support a longer recovery with some extra capital, initially sold some roadfront property and is now moving to sell more of the land, and has negotiated longer-term leases.

Lesson learned: stay smallscale

Mr Kitson has distinguished between Taurus’s investment targets and those of the bigger Auckland syndicators such as Augusta Funds Management Ltd (owned by NZX-listed Augusta Capital Ltd) & Oyster Property Group Ltd (50% owned by ASX-listed Cromwell Corp Ltd, 50% by a group of 5 individuals).

Augusta, in particular, has gone for ever bigger investments and has won strong investor support.

But Mr Kitson said he learned from the SPI restructure & selldown not to get too ambitious and to hold syndicates below the $20 million level, thus requiring fewer investors.

Taurus now manages 4 syndicates with $45 million of property for a total 210 investors.

Mr Kitson said Taurus had seen money flow north to the big syndicators’ offerings, but he believed there was also a strong future in smaller syndicates, and in the South Island: “We see this as complementary to the larger syndicate managers, as the maximum individual property size we will manage is unlikely to be greater than $20 million. There are plenty of attractive opportunities in the south, with very good returns & security. And when it comes to syndicate investment, size does not necessarily matter – tenant profile, returns & security do, so it’s all about the opportunity.

“The syndicates we offer will always have fewer investors, meaning we can continue to provide personal service where investors are bigger fish in a smaller pool. We know it builds confidence to have personal & direct access to the syndicate manager.”

New licence gets Taurus Management focused

Gaining the managed investment scheme licence – a 15-month process – has meant Taurus has had to realign its business to ensure Taurus Management can grow entirely separately from its sister company, Taurus Group. Said Mr Kitson: “The new licence provides the opportunity for the company to start planning a wide-ranging portfolio in the mid-range boutique investment sector over the next 5 years.”

Through the wholesale market, the company recently settled on 9 childcare centres, mostly in the South Island, and is undertaking due diligence on a 10th centre. That scheme will soon own properties worth $25 million.

Taurus Management has also settled the purchase of a 4000m² factory & warehouse in Dunedin, where a sale & leaseback arrangement gave investors the opportunity to be part of a small boutique syndicate with a single very successful tenant. “With monthly cash distributions of 8.5%, the syndicate compares very favourably with larger opportunities in the north,” Mr Kitson said.

Taurus is also conducting due diligence on 2 Christchurch properties, with more opportunities in its sights: “There’s plenty coming up and, while the South Island is our focus, we are also considering forays into regional centres in the North Island, as long as the opportunity is right.”

Taurus Management’s chief financial officer, Michael Kohing, has been with the group since 2000. The company added a distribution manager, Andrew Dorgan, early this year after Mr Dorgan returned to Christchurch from client management & sales roles at 3 banks in London over 7 years, and 5 years in Melbourne as Westpac Banking Corp’s public sector banking team relationship director.

In June, commercial property & investment specialist Charlie Goodwin joined Taurus as a non-executive director. His career has included 6 years as head of investments & marketing for Perpetual Trust, 5 years as a director of Mainland Capital Ltd and, in the last 2 years, work as a consultant providing business case studies and appointment in August as general manager of Ashburton family investment company Tricroft Properties Ltd.

Links: Taurus Group
Taurus, Hunua syndication article: Commercial property – delivering equity growth & dividends, post-GFC

Earlier stories:
15 April 2016: Taurus Group restructures
11 November 2014: SPI directors Alcock & Knight give undertakings to FMA, including repayment
19 October 2012: SPI investors vote to stick with Highland Park cinema property
31 August 2012: Investor majority decides to terminate SPI’s Gloucester syndicate
22 August 2012: SPI Capital manager strikes short-term deal on one syndicate, calls vote on a second
20 April 2012: Syndicator concedes no return to investors in 2 accommodation syndicates 4 years after tenant Edpac’s collapse

Attribution: Company release, website, Companies Register.

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Office building in new intensive housing zone sells

An office building (pictured) in Panmure now zoned for terrace housing & apartments sold at a flat 5% yield at NAI Harcourts’ auction yesterday.

Isthmus east


2 Kings Rd:
Features: 951m² corner section, 509m² floor area, in new terrace housing & apartment buildings zone
Rent: $66,625/year net + gst + outgoings, one year remaining on lease
Outcome: sold for $1.33 million
Agents: Peta Laery & Richard White

Attribution: Agency release.

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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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8 out of 10 sell at Bayleys commercial auction

8 of the 10 properties in Bayleys’ Total Property commercial auction yesterday were sold under the hammer.

6 of them were vacant or with short leases. Of the 3 where a yield could be calculated, an Asian supermarket in Papakura (outlined in picture) sold at 4.7%, a Grange hair salon at Warkworth sold at 5.9% and a Birkenhead property with 5 tenants sold at 6%.

Isthmus east


12 George Terrace:
Features: vacant 521m² site, 515m² refurbished standalone industrial building, zone allows live/work or residential
Outcome: sold for $1.4 million
Agents: James Valintine & William Gubb


11 Farnham St:
Features: 269m² site, standalone building with 4 levels built 10 years ago, 659m² floor area, private lift to penthouse on top 2 floors, conservatory, 4 bedrooms, 5/6-car garage + secured yard parking on ground floor, partitioned office & amenities on level 1, air-conditioned on levels 1-3
Outcome: sold for $3.22 million
Agents: Millie Liang

St Johns

121 Morrin Rd:
Features: 4755m² site, 2312m² high stud warehouse, 6 roller doors, small office, yard + parking
Rent: short-term tenancy in place
Outcome: sold for $6.81 million
Agents: Jamsheed Sidhwa, Luke Carran & James Valintine



49-55 Birkenhead Avenue:
Features: 801m² site, 481m² floor area, 5 tenants, town centre zoning has 21m height limit
Rent: $112,070/year net + gst
Outcome: sold for $1.867 million at a 6% yield
Agents: Michael Nees, David Huang & Oscar Kuang

Browns Bay

755 Beach Rd:
Features: vacant 1029m² site, 70m² building, mixed use zoning allows building height up to 4 storeys
Outcome: passed in at $700,000
Agents: Ranjan Unka & Anna Radkevich


372 Rosedale Rd, unit 2A:
Features: 186.7m² first-floor office, 6 parking spaces, tenant Bayleys Real Estate Ltd
Rent: $58,209/year net + gst + outgoings, 18-month lease from 1 April, 2 18-month rights of renewal
Outcome: no bid
Agents: Matt Mimmack & Eddie Zhong

Unsworth Heights

1 Greenwich Way, shop 7:
Features: 186m² retail unit, tenant BookPrint Ltd
Rent: $51,520/year net + gst + outgoings
Outcome: withdrawn from auction
Agents: Dean Gilbert-Smith & Adam Curtis


The Grange, 67 Auckland Rd, unit 22A & 22B:
Features: 119m² shop, tenant Vivo Beauty Ltd
Rent: $49,100/year net + gst, new 8-year lease
Outcome: sold by the developer, Square & Main Street Ltd (Adam Reynolds) for $830,000 at a 5.9% yield
Agents: Matt Lee, James Chan & Henry Napier



111 Lincoln Rd, unit FB:
Features: retail unit, tenant Petstock
Rent: $105,000/year net + gst, new 6-year lease
Outcome: withdrawn from auction
Agents: Tony Chaudhary & James Chan


East Tamaki

20 Ra Ora Drive:
Features: vacant 4885m² site, metalled, fenced & electronic security gate, former Howick Bus Co Ltd depot
Outcome: sold for $2 million
Agents: John Bolton, Roy Rudolph & Katie Wu


303-305 Great South Rd:
Features: 2023m² site zoned business mixed use, Asian supermarket tenant
Rent: $161,740/year net + gst, new 4-year lease + 3 4-year rights of renewal
Outcome: sold for $3.44 million at a 4.7% yield
Agents: Quinn Ngo, Matt Lee & Piyush Kumar


305 Great South Rd:
Features: vacant 990m² industrial site, 448m² warehouse
Outcome: sold for $1.52 million
Agents: Shane Snijder & Peter Migounoff

Attribution: Auction.

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