Auction fever strikes


A Queenstown real estate company is hailing a mass residential property auction’s success as a sign of market recovery. 

Bayleys Queenstown put 18 properties, including local homes, apartments and sections, up for auction last Thursday. 

Five were sold under the hammer including a Hylton Heights section for $235,000, a Hallenstein Street house for $370,000 and a Hensman Road home for $415,000. A York St section passed in for $276,000 sold for a higher sum later that day. 

Agency director David Murray says the auction confirms the market is in early recovery mode – in part because banks are lending again to first-home buyers and in part because there’s more confidence. 

“I don’t think there’s enough pressure in the marketplace or scarcity for prices to move and I see that being a while away.” 

Murray says he expects post-auction negotiations will result in 70 per cent of the properties selling by the end of this month. 

“The clearance figure on the day and certainly within a few days afterwards is right up with figures across the country,” he says. 

About 100 people, including phone bidders, attended. It lasted two and a quarter hours. 

Almost every property attracted bidders, Murray says. 

“I think we got properties sold because of the competition we introduced to the room which we wouldn’t have got on a one-on-one basis.” 

Murray says he’d use the process if he sold his own property. 

“If you can get two people who like a property, they’ll pay $30,000 or $40,000 more if they’re in a competitive environment.” 

With so many properties bundled together, vendors saved 30 to 40 per cent on advertising costs, Murray says. 

“I think vendors wanted the opportunity to maximise price and to have a cash and unconditional sale. 

“There’s a lot of angst for people who think their house has sold but it’s subject to the sale of another property or a building report and so on.”