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Auctions to provide transparency as new sale price benchmarks emerge

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Commercial property sale prices over the next 3-6 months are likely to set the benchmark for the recovery in market performance over the following 12-24 months, says a Colliers International expert.

“In these uncertain times we expect sale and leasebacks and off-market transactions to be popular,” says Gareth Fraser, Auckland Director of Investment Sales at Colliers.

“However, there will also be a period of uncertainty around values. Auctions provide a transparent way for both vendors and purchasers to ascertain what market values are.

“Bidders can see their competition and vendors can assess what the market is willing to pay for a property, before they tell the market what they are willing to accept.

“In previous times, going to auction was a simple process. However, current conditions have changed this, such as physical distancing protocols, Level 2 restrictions on group gatherings of more than 10 people, and potential fear of crowds due to Covid-19.”

In light of this, Colliers has reviewed its auction processes and come up with a market-leading solution.

AuctionsLive – an online auction platform that is widely used in Australia – will be offered to vendors for all Colliers auctions. Bidders can choose between attending online or being present in the auction room.

Colliers’ auctioneer, Robert Tulp of Apollo Auctions, is already well acquainted with the AuctionsLive platform.

“I’m excited to use this market-leading technology as part of Colliers’ comprehensive commercial property auction services.

“AuctionsLive offers a hybrid approach, with some bidders able to be in the auction room while others attend virtually.

“While we believe most bidders will still want to be in the auction room, the wide adoption and acceptance of video conferencing during Covid-19 makes it clear that fully virtual online auctions can work.”

Charles Cooper, Auckland Managing Director at Colliers, says a key benefit is that campaigns can continue even if the Covid-19 alert level jumps around.

“A full virtual auction could be undertaken successfully with all bidders, vendor and agents logging in remotely, if New Zealand reverts back to Alert Level 3 or 4.

“The platform also takes away issues around restrictions on group gatherings or fear from any bidders or vendors around public gatherings.

“In these extraordinary market conditions, the transparency of the auction room will be a vital tool in restoring confidence.

“Colliers’ market-leading hybrid auction capabilities will allow us to deliver this transparency and confidence in the coming weeks and months.”

Related Experts

Gareth Fraser

Auckland Director - Investment Sales


Gareth leads Colliers International's Investment Sales team. The team operates across the entire Auckland market from four strategic locations; CBD (including city fringe), South Auckland (based in Highbrook), West Auckland (based in North West Shopping Centre) and North Shore (based in Takapuna).

This is a large team of brokers and support staff focussed on providing solutions to owners, investors, developers, owner-occupiers and tenants. It features a specialised site sales team focussed on residential land and development opportunites. Investment Sales also includes the syndication division, offerring proportionate ownership opportunities to investors on behalf of clients.

Gareth is also on the Executive Team for Colliers in New Zealand.

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Charles Cooper

Managing Director - Auckland


As Colliers International's Auckland managing director, Charles holds a strategic role responsible for the entire client service experience, the growth strategies and the profitability of the total Auckland business. Charles is also a key member of Colliers International's New Zealand board of directors and sits on the Australasian senior leadership team.

Colliers International's Auckland business is the strongest commercial real estate services player in the market and employs over 260 professionals in four offices across the city.

Charles is also responsible for growing Colliers' market share across its various service lines and charged with developing Colliers’ Auckland business as a ‘best practice’ model for the company’s 20 nationwide offices.

He is also responsible for people management across the Auckland offices, including leadership and direction, recruitment, mentoring, skills development and succession planning; as well as implementing and developing new business lines.

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