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Real estate auction activity has almost dried up with most vendors choosing to postpone selling their properties

By Greg Ninness


Auction activity is continuing to decline to negligible levels as lockdown restrictions take their toll on the residential property market.

Last week (11-17 September), Auckland's largest real estate agency Barfoot and Thompson auctioned just 18 properties.

If it was not for lockdown restrictions, that number would likely have been around 200-300.

Barfoot didn't auction any properties from the Papakura district last week and just one property from each of the Rodney, Waitakere, North Shore and Franklin districts (see the table below).

However although the number of properties offered at auction was extremely low, almost three quarters of the properties offered were sold under the hammer.

The low level of auction activity is not unique to Barfoot & Thompson, with auction activity at most agencies sharply curtailed over the last few weeks.

The low number of auctions highlights the limitations of online auctions.

Although they are proving to be a useful tool in the market, their major drawback during situations such as lockdowns is that potential buyers are unable to view properties in person or arrange for building inspections.

Potential vendors are also disadvantaged because they would be unlikely to be able to organise professional photography, or have their properties staged during lockdown.

Given these difficulties, it appears that buyers and sellers alike are deciding to postpone sales until restrictions have been eased sufficiently to allow normal marketing campaigns to proceed.

And once that does happen it could take about a month for auction activity to get back up to normal levels, with agents generally requiring at least a week to organise marketing campaigns followed by a two to three week campaign prior to the auction.


This story was originally published on and has been republished here with permission.