The commercial and industrial property market enters 2019 on the back of a strong finish to 2018, with a total of 38 properties around the North Island selling at a total value of $56,374,000 at Bayleys' final Total Property portfolio auctions for the year.

Auctions held in Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Taupo, New Plymouth and Wellington in December achieved an overall clearance rate of 76 per cent on the 50 properties offered for sale.

One hundred per cent clearance rates were obtained on auctions in Tauranga, Taupo and Wellington, with all 15 properties put up for sale in Wellington selling.

Bayleys commercial auctioneer Richard Valintine says the December Total Property auctions capped off one of the best years ever for vendors who utilised the auction process to sell their properties.

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The highest volume of sales were concluded at Auckland and Wellington auctions where a total of 146 commercial auctions were called in 2018 and 113 properties were sold at a total sales value of over $150 million.

"While the number of auctions was down a little last year on 2017, the clearance rate of 77 per cent achieved in these two locations was up from 73 per cent the year before," says Valintine. "This is a very good result in what is generally considered to be a more challenging market and demonstrates that auctions continue to be a very effective method of sale in all market conditions."

In Auckland, 15 out of 21 offerings at the December Total Property auction sold under the hammer or shortly after auction at a total value of $25,307,000.

The highest priced achieved was $4.71m for a 288sq m two-level building on a 235sq m site at 413 Tamaki Drive, St Heliers, opposite St Heliers beach and close to intersection with St Heliers Bay Rd.

Bidding started at $3m and advanced in a series of $100,000 and $200,000 increases before being declared on the market at $4.6m. It was eventually purchased at a 3.59 per cent yield by a neighbouring property owner. Two commercial tenants have 10-year leases until 2022 with no rights of renewal.

"This is a prime piece of retail real estate in a sought after waterfront position in St Heliers Village's tightly held commercial precinct where offerings like this rarely come up for sale," says Cameron Melhuish who marketed the property with Andrew Wallace and James Chan. "Buyers are prepared to pay a premium to secure property in a low vacancy location where they know commercial premises will always be in demand."

Also fetching in excess of $4m was a 598sq m three-level 1970s' building on a 229sq m site zoned Town Centre at 371-373 Remuera Rd, Remuera. It was sold for $4,325,000 at a 4.66 per cent yield by Alan Haydock, Damien Bullick, Andrew Wallace and Quinn Ngo.

Its largest tenant is the Remuera Local cafe and bar which leases 319sq m of ground floor and basement space until mid-2023, with two six-year rights of renewal, with the balance of retail space and upper level office premises occupied by two other tenants.

Two retail units occupied by Domino's Pizzas attracted strong bidding at the auction before selling for well over reserve at yields of under 5 per cent through Tony Chaudhary, Janak Darji and Amy Weng.

A 135m2 unit in 10-unit development completed in 2006 at 5 Aviemore Drive, Highland Park, Pakuranga sold for $1.305m at $1.13m million after just six bids. Over 50 further bids resulted in a further $175,000 being achieved for the vendor.

At 6C Wingate St, Avondale, a 80m2 middle unit in modern retail block in the town centre, with access also from Great North Rd sold for $960,000 at a 4.9 per cent yield after being declared on the market at $900,000. A new fitout for Domino's Pizza NZ was undertaken prior to the commencement of a nine-year lease from October 2018 to the fast food chain which has over 15,000 outlets worldwide.

"We had six registered phone bidders on one property and five on the other as well as multiple bidders in the room for the offerings, which were sold separately on behalf of two different vendors," says Chaudhary. "It shows there is still a strong appetite for smaller passive investment offerings with long leases to an international brand tenant. I don't see that changing any time soon."

Also attracting rapid fire bidding was a 381sq m retail building on 841m2 Town Centre zoned site at 44-48 King Street, Pukekohe which sold for $2.05m at a 5.43 per cent yield on its leases to a long established pharmacy and a Dollar World shop.

"This is a big vote of investment confidence in the future of Pukekohe which will be the major service centre for the massive residential development and accompanying population growth that is starting to occur in the surrounding area," says Shane Snijder who sold the property with Bayleys South Auckland colleague Graeme Moore and Mark Fourie.

"The property is in a very tightly held location at the favoured end of one of Pukekohe's main retail streets with a Countdown supermarket located on a shared service lane opposite the rear of the site.

"The site is under developed with land at the rear currently providing 12 parking spaces and is also probably a little under rented which offers future upside potential to the purchaser, an experienced local investor."

Snijder says Pukekohe has a shortage of business zoned land which is creating strong demand for limited offerings that come up for sale.

"Given the substantial growth that is occurring in the area, we have plenty of businesses wanting to establish themselves in Pukekohe. But they are being frustrated by council delays in the formulation of the town's structure plan which means no new designated areas for much needed business development are being created at present."

Other auction properties to sell at the Total Property Auckland auction included:

27 Hargreaves St, Auckland Central: Renovated 318sq m character office building on a 304sq m Mixed Use zoned site sold for $3.25m at a 5.27 per cent yield by Damien Bullick, Alan Haydock and Mike Adams. It has a six-year lease from March 2018 to Studio South Ltd.

33A Springs Rd, East Tamaki: an 897m2 mid-1980s industrial unit sold vacant for $2.3m by John Bolton, Katie Wu and Roy Rudolph. It comprises 647m2 of warehousing with a 6.5m stud plus two levels of office and showroom space.

155 Neilson St Onehunga: Recently refurbished 625sq m warehouse, office and showroom building with two tenants on a 980sq m site zoned Heavy Industry sold for $1.75m at a 5.24 per cent yield by James Hill, James Valintine, Sunil Bhana, Amy Weng and Tony Chaudhary.

3 Pukemiro St , Onehunga: a 390sq m industrial building on a 556sq m Heavy Industry site sold with vacant possession for $1.15m by William Gubb and James Valintine.

Unit 2, 96 Rosedale Rd, Albany: a 90sq m unit in the Rosedale Retail Centre sold for $900,000 at a 5.22 per cent yield by Eddie Zhong, Steven Liu and Meng He. The tenant has renewed until May 2022.

Unit 5, 22 Polaris Place, East Tamaki: 208m² high stud warehouse and office unit plus four parking spaces in new industrial complex sold for $800,000 at a 4.87 per cent yield by Jarrod Qin, Nicolas Ching and Ben Bayley. It has a three-year lease to BRP Electrical from March 2018.

39B Holmes Rd, Manurewa: a 382m2 modern industrial workshop sold for $771,000 at a 5.41 per cent yield by Peter Migounoff and Piyush Kumar. An electric fencing occupant of 15 years is now on a monthly lease.

Unit 1, 28 Anvil Rd, Silverdale: a 246sq m recently renovated industrial unit with five car parks sold with vacant possession for $750,000 by Rosemary Wakeman and Matt Mimmack

Unit 4, 3 Margaret St, Freemans Bay: a 53sq m ground level commercial unit with two car parks, leased to a legal firm, sold for $620,000 at a 4.35 per cent yield by Stuart Bode, Mike Bradshaw and Mike Adams.

Unit 7, 375-389 Khyber Pass, Newmarket: an 88m2 retail unit plus two carparks in an 18-unit business complex sold for $551,000 post auction at a 6.53 per cent yield by Quinn Ngo and Matt Lee.