Flooding and looting: Behind central Auckland property owner's decision to sell at a loss

More than six months on from the Auckland Anniversary floods, some affected residents are reaching their financial breaking point. 

One homeowner whose central city property was looted after he evacuated has decided to get rid of it, knowing he'll sell it at a loss.

The property is located in the upmarket, central suburb of Parnell. But it was inundated during the January weather event - and as if that wasn't difficult enough, it was looted by vandals. 

City Sales real estate agent Scott Dunn is trying to sell it on behalf of the owner, who chose not to be identified. 

"If you total what he's had to pay out every week for outgoings, plus the loss of financial gain from his business, we're talking tens of thousands of dollars this owner is in the hole for, already," Dunn told Newshub. 

The entire bottom level needed fixing and the owner has lost patience with the drawn-out process. 

"The original timeframe for completion was about 10 weeks. I think they're coming up 26 now," Dunn explained. 

"The seller can't wait any longer so he's going to market as is, where is."

And it seems he's not alone. CoreLogic's Q1 Pain and Gain Report shows properties selling at a loss have hit a seven-year high.

To make matters worse for the owner, he says during the inspection of flood damage, contractors discovered remedial work done to fix leaky issues was not up to standard, so the property will need its third Code Compliance - another hurdle he's not in a position to wait for.

The owner's insurer has paid for his temporary accommodation - but he's lost the income he had when he was renting it out. 

New Zealand Insurance Council chief executive Tim Grafton told Newshub insurance "only pays out once, not twice, on a given loss".

He explained, in situations where a property owner has flatmates, "they can use their alternative accommodation payments to get an equivalent property", and they'd be able to sublet that to a flatmate and carry on as before.

Darren Wright, director of the New Zealand Claims Resolution Service, says the organisation has been helping flood-affected homeowners navigate these challenging times.

"We've had lots of claims through, ranging from simple flooding, through to complex silt through houses, and then at the other end of the scale there are land claims that are really complex where we've got land inundation and cliff collapse," he told Newshub. 

His message to homeowners is to hang in there. 

"If you're struggling or need any support, contact us."

But for the owner of the Parnell property, time has run out - and the help he needs is finding a cash buyer.