A real estate industry watchdog has cleared agents and agencies of wrongdoing over their involvement in the initial sales of neighbouring Mangere Bridge properties, which were then repeatedly flipped over four days.
The two Coronation Rd properties were sold a total of five times last August in the space of just four days.
One of the homes surged in price by $400,000 during that time and their collective value jumped by $550,000 in under a week.
After being alerted to the transactions by the Herald, the Real Estate Agents Authority launched its own probe.
A spokeswoman said today that investigation had found no wrongdoing by licensed real estate agents or agencies.
"After the initial sales of the properties, the sales were handled privately without any involvement by licensed real estate salespeople."
Both properties were finally bought by Chinese-owned developer Treasure Plus Ltd and are expected to be demolished or removed to make way for up to 18 townhouses.
A person speaking on behalf of the company said this month they had no knowledge of the previous transactions prior to Herald inquiries and were concerned by the apparent price ramping.
Authority chief executive Kevin Lampen-Smith said today buyers and sellers needed to realise if they did not use a licensed real estate salesperson, and then have concerns about aspects of the transaction, it would be "far more difficult" to hold the parties accountable for their actions.
Real estate agents are required to act in their client's best interests, which included seeking and obtaining the best possible price for their client.
It was legal to on-sell a property for which you had signed a sale and purchase agreement for before settlement was complete. But a subsequent sale and purchase agreement must be conditional on the settlement or fulfilment of the original agreement, Lampen-Smith said earlier this month.
Property records analysed by CoreLogic show one of the properties was sold three times in four days, with its price jumping by $150,000.
The modest bungalow was originally owned by Ben and Jessie Church, who sold it through an agent on August 4 for $1.9 million, to Jia Liu.
Jia Liu flipped the property the same day to Sha Liu, who on-sold it four days later to Treasure Plus Ltd for $2.05 million.
The other property is a historic homestead once owned by Auckland department store owner George Courts.
Its price nearly doubled from $1.45 million to $2.8 million between February and August last year, with investor Hua Wu making nearly $1 million in capital gain.
Wu bought the house on February 14 from previous owner Jennifer Woodman through an agent before selling it six months later to Sha Liu for $2.4 million.
Sha Liu flipped it four days later for $2.8 million - a profit of $400,000.
The historic homestead is now the subject of a heritage assessment by Auckland Council to see if it warrants protection.