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Positive Auction Success Rates Despite Level 4 Lockdown

By Daniel Horrobin

Interest in the Auckland City Apartment market remains strong, despite this having been a month dominated by strict lockdown restrictions.

It was understandable that our apartment listings and sales dropped by the order of 50 to 55% from August to September, given that for most of the month the city has been operating under rigid lockdown conditions. However, increasing familiarity with life under lockdown and the use of smart technology, saw buyers and sellers seamlessly adapt to the process of buying and selling through Virtual Auctions.

We had a 75% auction success rate during the month, with some buyers purchasing apartments which they’d never stepped foot in, cash unconditional. They were aided hugely by our sophisticated digital tools including virtual walk-throughs and videos.

Some of these auctions involved apartments which had started their marketing and open homes prior to the announcement of Level Four. But there were also some apartments listed once Level 4 had made open homes impossible, their sellers taking the opportunity to be bold as there was less competition in the market due to a lack of new listings coming on the market.

The Auckland apartment market does tend to have a bit of a virtual nature anyway, given that buyers include a good portion of out-of-towners and international investors. And in cases when someone already lives or owns in a specific building, they tend to be pretty familiar with its overall nature and able to use online tools to flesh out the details of an individual apartment on offer.

The Level Four lockdown gave some owners the breathing space to decide they were definitely going to sell when restrictions lessened and our team has been working with them to bring this about. As expected, we are confidently watching activity spark back up.

Also notable in September was the Government announcing it had decided to exempt “new” houses for 20 years under the new tax rules to bar landlords from deducting the interest costs of their mortgage from their tax bill.

We expect this will boost even further investors’ strong level of interest in purchasing from the many new apartment developments being built in the CBD and city fringe as a result of changes to the Unitary Plan.

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