Key Points:

Eight out of 10 Auckland apartments taken to auction yesterday were left unsold in a sign of nervousness about the market.

Of the two units sold, one vendor lost $68,000, having paid $270,000 for a new Aura unit but getting only $202,000 back at the auction.

City Sales cried out against negative publicity, saying this had made buyers nervous and confused about the market.

But the agency still drew one of its strongest crowds, with about 150 people in the auction room.

The best result was a level-25 Ascott Metropolis unit in Courthouse Lane, where the vendor got $229,000, after previously paying $219,000. But this was the only seller to make a profit.

The Aura unit which sold for $202,000, was at the corner of Cook St and Nelson St.

City Sales chief Martin Dunn said this case illustrated a wider problem of people having overpaid for apartments bought from specifications before a building went up.

The lowest bidding was for a Unilodge unit, a block occupied by tertiary students at 138 Anzac Ave. Bidding reached only $40,000, so auctioneer Neil Newman said he had no authority to sell at such a low price.

A 44sq m City Zone unit at 11 Liverpool St was passed in at $200,000, even though it has a carpark, is fully furnished and is rented at $350 a week.

Two units bought by Australians were auctioned in Altitude at 34 Kingston St. City Sales said the places had elevated views over the Viaduct and the block was on freehold land. The places were rented at $300 and $310 a week each, But the units were passed in at $142,500 and $145,000.

Bidding got to only $120,000 for a studio unit in The Docks, so the unit was passed in. And a two-bedroom Quest unit and a carpark at 363 Queen St was passed in at $270,000.