If you are looking for a sign that Auckland's property market is hot, then the recent sale of a two-bedroom flat in Mt Albert for $797,000 - a staggering 77 per cent above its CV - is as good as any.

Although the unit was in a desirable suburb, it could hardly be described as luxury.

The agents who sold it, Matthew O'Rourke and Ryan Harding, of Barfoot and Thompson, said that the property had attracted a lot of interest, with 20-plus registered bidders at the auction.

The agents who sold the unit said they had more than 100 groups inspect the property. Photo / Barfoot & Thompson
The agents who sold the unit said they had more than 100 groups inspect the property. Photo / Barfoot & Thompson

They said they had more than 100 groups attend the four viewings they held for the Preston Ave unit.

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In their advert, the agents described it as: "Tall, dark, handsome, funny, eats well, a total charmer anyone would be proud to bring home to mum! Well folks... Don't despair, we present to you - 'The Bachelor' of units!"

The sale comes as the chief executive of Barfoot and Thompson, Peter Thompson, pressed for lending changes as a way to solve Auckland's housing crisis.

In an exclusive interview with the Herald, Mr Thompson said anyone purchasing a property worth more than $1.5 million should pay a deposit of around $500,000.

'Drop the LVR'

The move, he said, would force people to live in suburbs they could afford, "not where they want to be".

He also wanted properties under $500,000 excluded from the LVR (loan-to-value) restrictions to help Auckland's struggling first-home buyers over the line, and admitted the risk of a market correction as prices spiral out of control.

He has lobbied politicians, the Reserve Bank and Real Estate Institute industry leaders over his proposals.

Higher deposits on top-end homes would reduce Auckland's surging prices and the risk of buyers over-extending themselves by making people purchase cheaper houses, he said.

"If they haven't got the deposit they really shouldn't be going up to that next level because at some time interest rates will rise and that's when they're going to over-commit."