Auctions accounted for 50% or more of sales across 13 Auckland suburbs last month as going under the hammer becomes the preferred method of selling in many parts of the city.
Figures from the Real Estate Institute (REINZ) for 20 Auckland suburbs revealed only seven locations recorded the percentage of sales by auction at fewer than 50%.
The highest proportion of auction sales was recorded in Blockhouse Bay at 77.8%, followed by Glendowie (72%) and Epsom (60.5%).
Browns Bay had the least amount of auction sales in March at 43.6%.
In total REINZ figures show almost 30% of sales in the region over March were completed by auction compared to 22% in March 2011 and just 11% five years ago, near the peak of the housing market.
REINZ chief executive Helen O'Sullivan said auctions are often a preferred method of sale when there is rapid change and uncertainty over values.
"Auctions are becoming the preferred sales method, particularly in higher priced suburbs. In 13 ‘leafy' suburbs more than 50% of the total sales in March were as a result of auctions," she said.
Harcourts auction manager Robert Tulp agreed there had been a huge increase in auction activity as both sellers and buyers become more comfortable with the process.
"There's definitely been an increase as both buyers and sellers definitely understand the process better, they see it's an easy way to achieve true market value," he said.
The data on auction sales shows that auctions tend to be more common in high priced suburbs, with the suburbs seeing 50% or more auction sales recoding a median price of just over $670,000 compared to $377,000 for suburbs with less than 20% of sales by auction.
The REINZ figures were supported by Harcourts MarketWatch data, which found a year-on-year rise in auctions across the whole of the country apart from the provincial South Island, which saw a 5.9% drop.
The Harcourts data found the largest rise in auctions was in Christchurch, up 141.9% on March 2011.