During 2009 and 2010 to date, much has been spoken about the national and international influences and their effect upon the residential, real estate Auckland market.
Everyone from those who live in rental accommodation, to home owners, to those specialising in property investment, have a view and are quick to express those views.
One thing I believe we need to make quite clear from the outset is that there is no such thing as a unified, Auckland real estate market.
Auckland has always been an amalgum of villages and towns which have grown into one urban mass. Each separate portion has its own trends, influences and unique features. It is dangerous to attempt to draw any commonalties other than the very broadest of trends.
In looking at Real Estate Auckland, it is probably more useful to define 3 or 4 strata levels based on value, rather than on a geographic basis.
For the purpose of this article, lets define the residential market into 3 broad brands, bottom end (by value), mid range, and top end.
This simple classification works for all property, regardless of whether free standing homes, apartments or townhouses.
Where one classification ends and the other starts, is relatively inmaterial.
Over the past 18 months, we have seen the lower end of the market fall substantially in value as those on wages struggle to survive the economic malais, and those who purchased, believing that the road to riches was paved by ever increasing property values have had their confidence badly shaken.
When somone bails out of a property, selling at below purchase price, all values suffer.
Those investors who drove prices up, caused the market to fall once they lost their nerve, or when they were unable to prop up 100% mortgages.
At the top end of the Auckland Real Estate market properties virtually ceased to change hands for a period, simply because those who are able to afford to purchase into that bracket, also have the financial stability to sit and hold, waiting till the market picks up before trading.
It is therefore very difficult to build a substantial case to say there has been a change in value.
At the time of writing (September 2010) there is substantial evidence to suggest that there is a significant trend towards those able to purchase into the top end, regaining confidence and properties are trading in greater numbers and at higher value levels than a few years ago.
In the middle, as one may expect, there is a mix of sales (albeit at reduced numbers) at levels both above and below previous years.
If there is a trend in this residential real estate Auckland market it is that people have been willing to compete and pay handsomly for "good" properties whilst discounting in value any which are problematic – whether by design, location or construction materials; makes sense really!