Investors caught as Auckland apartment market collapses.
Article originally published OCTOBER 25, 2005 –Reviewed and approved.
By Neil Jenman
A New Zealand property spruiker is blaming bad publicity for the plummeting prices of Auckland apartments.
Martin Dunn, who runs an outfit called City Sales, has often lashed out at those who have warned buyers about Auckland apartments. Everyone from The New Zealand Herald to the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) have copped a serve from Dunn if they so much as hinted that all is not well in the world of property.
Last year (2004), when Dunn and other Kiwi spruikers targeted Aussie investors in an effort to flog Auckland apartments, Neil Jenman issued a warning – stay away. Jenman described Auckland apartments as “the worst investment” of the time and compared the Auckland spruikers of the 2000s with the Gold Coast spruikers of the 1990s.
There is a two-step response common to spruikers who are challenged – deny the claim and abuse the messenger. Dunn denied that Auckland apartments were over-priced. He accused Jenman of confusing the public. Dunn was also upset that Jenman criticised the auction system, a method that Dunn supports. More abuse followed.
In February 2004, Martin Dunn had made a prediction about Auckland’s apartments. He said “By 2005 it will be difficult to invest in the city for under $200,000.”
So, let’s fast forward to last week. Martin Dunn, apartment spruiker and auction advocate, puts eleven Auckland apartments up for auction. His result was one sale, which represents a 91 per cent failure rate. Most apartments didn’t a attract a single bid.
Okay, but what about the prices and that prediction of a minimum of $200,000 by 2005? Well, it is almost the opposite to what Dunn predicted. Apartments that has once sold for $200,000 are now reported to be selling for “under $130,000”. Dunn himself sold an apartment for $80,000.
Last month, New Zealand’s respected property analyst, Keiran Trass, predicted that Auckland apartment prices would fall in value by up to 40 per cent by the end of 2006. And last week, BNZ chief economist, Tony Alexander, predicted that prices would fall in the next 18 months.
Astonishingly, Dunn again chose the abuse response, pretending that he had never heard of Trass. As for Alexander, well, he’s part of what Dunn describes as “the buffoon brigade”.
So, what’s Martin Dunn’s current tip for the Auckland apartment market? “Buy now”.
Yea, that’s right, don’t listen to buffoons, such as journalists or economists. That’s just bad publicity.
Put your faith in the spruikers. Trust Martin Dunn.
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But one thing will never vary: We will never stop doing what we love most – helping polite and honest consumers get the best deal possible in real estate. And, of course, if any agents are serious about taking care of consumers, we’ll help you too. Thank you.