96% of all New Zealand properties sold in the final three months of 2017 went for above the previous purchase price, netting owners gross profits of $1.5 billion.

CoreLogic’s latest Pain and Gain report shows Aucklanders snapped up the greatest median profits per sale at $370,000, up from $360,000 in the previous quarter. Queenstown Lakes followed at $357,000, up from $339,000 and recorded no loss making sales at all during the quarter.

The proportion of properties sold at a loss dropped slightly from 4.3% to 4% nationally, with gross losses of $13.9 million. Small increases were seen in Auckland (up 0.3%) and Hamilton (up 1.2%) during the quarter, but there was a substantial decline in Tauranga (down 2.5%).

In Wellington, the proportion of loss making sales is the lowest it has been for a decade (1.1%) consistent with upwards price pressure in the capital. Dunedin is also in a strong position with the lowest proportions of losses of New Zealand’s main centres (0.7%), reflecting solid growth in values in the city.

Nationally, properties sold at a loss during the quarter had been owned for a median 4.2 years. This is slightly less that 4.5 years in the previous quarter, and likely driven by market fatigue in which owners question scope for future capital gains.

On the other hand, the hold period for properties resold at a profit rose from 7.9 years to 8.1 years, consistent with a slowly rising market where the merits of longer hold periods come back to the fore.

Property types played a greater role in determining profits or losses in the final four months of the year compared to the previous quarter, with 9.6% of apartment sales being made for a loss and just 3.6% of house sales making a loss. This shows that any market fatigue that has set in has been concentrated in the apartment segment.