Sales of homes topping the million dollar mark in Auckland have nearly quadrupled over the last decade, even as the number of overall property sales has dropped.
More than 1800 houses in the region hit the million-dollar mark in the first half of this year alone. In the first half of 2004, there were just 500 Auckland houses sold for that amount.
Real estate agent for Barfoot and Thompson, Kirk Vogel, said the agency sold 169 houses for a million dollars or more just last month.
One of those houses was 2 Leighton St in Grey Lynn, which Mr Vogel said was "possibly one of the worst condition houses I've seen for quite some time".
The two-bedroom cottage has a floor area of about 70 square metres and sits on a 320 square metre section.
Most of the light fittings have been pulled out and the walls, carpets and ceilings are stained dark yellow from years of cigarette smoke, and flecked with black mould.
Despite its shortcomings, it sold for $1.075 million, which Mr Vogel said was mostly due to the land value.
Remeura real estate agent Michael Boulgaris said it was still possible to buy in the blue-ribbon suburb for under $1 million. He sold a house recently for $960,000 and has another on his books for $925,000.
But Real Estate Institute chief executive Helen O'Sullivan said it was getting harder.
"You have to get a bit further out before a million dollars is buying you something on a big piece of land. It still gives you good value in the lifestyle market around Auckland.
"Once upon a time a million dollars would buy you something pretty amazing - these days it's buying you a relatively modest family home."
Ms O'Sullivan says she's not surprised by the jump, as many houses that were previously worth just under a million dollars have now increased in value.