Thirty-two $5 million-plus commercial, industrial and retail properties were sold in the first half of the year, with sales totalling $559.8 million. Property consultant Jones Lang LaSalle predicts $1.4 billion of sales this year, up on last year's $1.2 billion.

Aviva Investors' purchase of Westfield Shore City was the biggest deal at $83.5 million, followed by a Christchurch investor's purchase of 21 Pitt St for $55 million, then Precinct Properties NZ's purchase of Wellington's Bowen Campus for $50.4 million.

HSBC House at 1 Queen St was on the market, which the agency expects to boost this year's sales tally.

"Just over half of the sales transactions in the first half of this year were by a private investor," Jones Lang said.


The unlisted property sector is the next most active investor profile with 16 per cent of sales trans-actions.

Auckland dominated the scene, with 63 per cent of all sales worth $353 million. Wellington took 13 per cent or $110 million and the rest of New Zealand accounted for 23 per cent or $74 million.

The listed sector will ramp up, price levels are likely to grow gradually and Auckland will remain the most active market, the company predicted.

It said the royal commission's findings into the Canterbury earthquakes were due to be delivered to the Governor-General next month and would provide direction on the viability and attractiveness of low seismic strength buildings.