An Auckland property agent is the latest beneficiary of a series of sales of a modest West Auckland house which has rocketed in price by $153,000 in 13 weeks.
Barfoot and Thompson managing director Peter Thompson says he understands the three-bedroom home was sold at the weekend for a negotiated price of $628,000.
That makes it the fourth time the property - which has a CV of $340,000 and was listed by his company just last week - has changed hands since late May.
Mr Thompson said the sale had yet to go through his company's system, but he confirmed that the vendor was a member of its sales force.
That was "a hundred per cent disclosed" to the latest buyer, he assured the Herald this afternoon.
"My understanding is that the person who sold it is a member of our property staff," he said.
But Mr Thompson said that person had a genuine reason to sell the vacant property, in wanting to raise funds for a family member who had bought a larger home, in Epsom.
The property was staged for the latest sale, but potential buyers were turned away from a scheduled open home yesterday, after an unconditional offer was received for it.
A woman who owned the house for three years before selling it on May 24 for $475,000 said earlier that the quick-fire action since it left her hands "beggars belief."
Sue Wilson paid $291,500 in 2012 for the property.
"I was horrified," she said of two subsequent sales, which rocketed the price to $559,000 on July 16, ahead of the latest deal.
"What annoyed me most as we're trying to get young people into houses and this sort of thing is going on with them bumping up the price."
Neighbours say the property has sat empty since July and no improvements have been made on the house except for professional staging.
The quick-fire sales - blamed on "changing vendor circumstances" - have renewed warnings rampant property speculation is shutting first-home buyers out of the market, sparking calls for a crackdown on speculators and ban on non-resident buyers.
CoreLogic data shows the 90sq m house was on-sold by new owner Xiaoli Zhen just two days after the July 10 settlement date for $522,500 - nearly $50,000 more than he paid to Mrs Wilson.
It was then sold again four days later by a trust for $559,000 before being relisted last week by Barfoot & Thompson.
Ray White agent Ronald Hachache sold the property last month on behalf of the initial purchaser, Mr Zhen. He said his client was not a speculator taking advantage of the market. He had bought it for his in-laws to live in but decided the area had too many state homes. "He just wanted to sell it and move on."
He added that desperate first-home buyers shut out of auctions because of due diligence costs were prepared to pay a premium for properties with listed asking prices to secure a starter home.
"There's a bit of desperation ... especially for that entry-level stock."
Mrs Wilson said she felt her initial $475,000 sale price was fair.
She realised Auckland house prices were on a steep trajectory but felt rapid sales of unoccupied homes with huge mark-ups meant young couples couldn't afford a first property. "No wonder people can't get in."
Neighbour Joanna Pou said no one had lived in the house since Mrs Wilson moved out on July 10 but the property kept going back on the market.
"They're all investors. It's just constantly being flicked over."
Labour's housing spokesman, Phil Twyford, said the Auckland housing market was "beyond a joke".
"The market is gripped by rampant property speculation. Speculators are making a killing at the expense of Generation Rent."
A government-backed building programme was needed to increase the supply of homes, plus regulatory reform and a crackdown on speculators "including a ban on non-resident foreigners buying existing homes".
In May, the Government unveiled a new "bright line" test designed to force speculators who buy and sell investment properties within two years to pay tax on capital gains. The new rules will apply from October 1. They assume anyone buying and selling a property within two years, other than their residential home, is doing so for profit. Prime Minister John Key has said the measures do not amount to a capital gains tax but are simply a tougher enforcement of existing rules applying to income from property trading. QV says it has seen a jump in activity by investors trying to beat the October 1 deadline.
Going, going, gone ...
May 24: Sue Wilson sells her three-bedroom Henderson home at auction for $475,000.
July 12: Purchaser Xiaoli Zhen sells his new home for $522,500, only two days after settlement date.
July 16: A trust sells the property to a new purchaser for $559,000 - an overall capital gain of $84,000 in less than two months.
August 23: The staged, vacant property sells for an undisclosed price within a week of being relisted for the fourth time in three months.