Sales hysteria hits Lake Hayes Estate

Big seller: The Sylvan Street house

Queenstown’s hot house market continues to break records.

A Lake Hayes Estate house sold for a record $1.22 million at auction last Friday.

It was snapped up by an Auckland buyer, bidding by phone – but there were three people still bidding past $1.1m.

Delighted Hoamz agent Nicole Bell says it’s not your run-of-the-mill house – she compares it to high-end properties in adjoining Walnut Grove.

Built in 2006, the Sylvan Street house has six bedrooms and three bathrooms.

The 328 square metre monster’s as big as some new sections coming to the Queenstown market, and the section is a whopping 1634sq m.

Bell: “We’re not going to see many more properties selling at that price because there aren’t that many six-bedroom properties in Lake Hayes Estate.”

The house’s capital value, according to Queenstown council rate records, is $730,000.

She says there’s huge demand from Queenstowners and from people elsewhere, including returning cashed-up expats.

“We just can’t hang on to listings – they’re selling so quickly.”

The Sylvan St house’s owner, Josh Brown, was reluctant to talk about the sale but confirms he and the family are returning to Australia.

Brown, the former owner of Cartridge World who now runs small business consultancy Create Thinking, says: “Queenstown’s been fantastic to us – it’s been nine fantastic years of our life.

“Even though we’re selling, it’s pretty hard for us to pack up and go.”

The record sale comes just weeks since Arrowtown joined Kelvin Heights in the more-than-$1 million bracket for house sales.

Queenstown’s median price last month was $796,000, up 44 per cent on the year before.

But the hot market’s not good news for everybody.

Happiness House coordinator Niki Mason says there’s enormous anxiety among renters.

Some are spending more than half their income on rent and others are worried about being booted out by landlords wanting to hike prices.

Mason says many are living week-to-week.

“If there’s a blip, like someone gets sick or they’ve got to fix up their car or there’s a school event coming and they’ve got to find money for it, it’s just not there.”