A newly renovated Air Force bungalow in northwest Auckland that sold for $1.6 million last June has failed to attract a single bid at an auction.
The impressive four-bedroom 261sq m home was put on the market this month by former TV presenter Jane Yee and her partner, music video producer Joel Kefali, just seven months after they bought it.
The property at 2 Sunderland Ave still holds the record for the highest price at the Hobsonville Pt housing development.
The couple bought the home with a view to raising their three children there, but a change in Mr Kefali's work commitments - requiring him to travel to the US - meant they decided to move closer to Ms Yee's family in East Auckland before looking to move overseas.
Last week's auction was in stark contrast to the scene in June last year when 250 people were present onsite as bidding started at $1 million before the property was passed in at $1.5 million. It was sold just hours later to Ms Yee and Mr Kefali for $1.6 million after negotiation.
Thursday's auction was held at Bayleys' North Shore office following a two-week marketing campaign.
Bayleys North Shore regional general manager Hayden Stanaway confirmed there were no bids on auction day, but said the agency was dealing with conditional interest and was confident it would sell.
"What's happening is people are being more educated on their decision-making process on value. That's all it is."
Mr Stanaway said auctions were still the most popular method of selling houses, but some people were often not in a position to bid on the day.
Some people had houses to sell and others didn't have finance sorted, or hadn't had time to get a builder's report done, he said.
Of the 51 Auckland properties marketed by Bayleys for sale by auction last week, just under half sold under the hammer, according to website interest.co.nz. The rest, including the Sunderland Ave property, were passed in and one was withdrawn from sale.
Meanwhile, properties marketed by the agency's Waikato staff fared better. Five of the six homes sold at auction.
Although Auckland still dominated the national auction scene, Real Estate Institute figures showed the number of auction sales dropped significantly to 52 per cent in January from 78 per cent 12 months earlier. In contrast, auction sales in Waikato/Bay of Plenty rose 19.3 per cent to 28.5 per cent.
QV national spokeswoman Andrea Rush said fewer houses were being sold at auction compared with the first nine months of last year, when more than 80 per cent of properties sold under the hammer.
"Buyers seem to be less willing to pay over the odds for a property. So it's possible that if the reserve is set too high at auction then a property will not sell under the hammer and will pass in. This is leading to more homes being sold after auction by negotiation."
Home values are no longer increasing in parts of Auckland, Ms Rush said, so sellers might have to lower their expectations.
The cooling of the market has also been put down to restrictions introduced last year by the Government and Reserve Bank trying to curb investor activity in Auckland, and the Chinese government's measures to restrict money leaving the country.