Confusion surrounds the status of the proposed mortgagee auction of the palatial Queenstown Hill pad owned by embattled property tycoon Terry Serepisos.
The owner of football franchise Wellington Phoenix is denying his luxury holiday home at 31 Belfast Terrace is up for forced sale – despite a local real estate agent saying as far as he is aware it’s still going ahead.
Valued at $1.6 million, the three-bedroom, two-bathroom house has been advertised as going under the hammer at the Locations Queenstown office next Thursday.
The Apprentice reality TV show host says it’s no longer on the market and that he’s repaid the debt to TSB Bank, which instructed the mortgagee sale.
“There’s no mortgagee auction, it’s been settled. I’m not going into it – there won’t be any mortgagee sale,” Serepisos tells Mountain Scene yesterday morning.
Locations agent Steven Kirk says he spoke to TSB yesterday and as far as he is aware the sale still stands.
“It’s status quo. [TSB] said, ‘We can’t comment but as far as we’re concerned it’s going to auction’.
“No doubt he’s trying to stop it. The banks don’t tell us much really. But I haven’t received any instructions differently.”
Kirk adds he hasn’t been able to contact Serepisos but understands he was staying at his holiday retreat last weekend.
“I think he took [the for-sale signs] down.”
When contacted again yesterday afternoon, Serepisos says: “I don’t know how they got that because I spoke to the main [TSB] guy after I spoke to you and he said everything is being sorted out. It’s something obviously in the channel.
“You will not see my house being on mortgagee sale next week. You’re just going to have to take my word for it.
“I’m going to get to the bottom of this. You’ll find out I’m a liar if it goes next week to mortgagee sale. Till then, I’m telling you it’s not.”
He denies taking the signs down: “I haven’t been down there.”
As for Kirk not being able to contact him: “How can a guy like that tell me he’s trying to get hold of me and he can’t get hold of me? What a load of rubbish. You’ve rung me twice and managed to get hold of me.”
TSB lending and credit manager Phil Gerrard refuses to comment.
A regular at Queenstown’s Winter Festival ball, Serepisos says he doesn’t make it down to his holiday retreat much.
“I love to get down there but I’m so busy in Wellington.”
Serepisos is reportedly relying on a promised $135m loan from Western Gulf Advisory to restructure his debts.
The High Court has given him till April 18 to repay a $3.58m tax bill to Inland Revenue, and prevent the liquidation of five of his Century City companies – including the company that owns the Phoenix.
Last December, five apartments in his Wellington Century City block – owned by Serepisos’ company New Millennium Design – went up for mortgagee sale after Canterbury Mortgage Trust went to recover $5.97m of outstanding payments.
Serepisos reportedly sold them the day before they went under the hammer.