Busy year for market

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The 80s hit single The Only Way Is Up is an apt motto for Queenstown real estate in 2012. 

After five fairly flat years, sales volumes lifted significantly last year. 

Sales values were also up, and Shotover Country – the first large residential subdivision in several years – was launched. 

Queenstown’s Locations Realty reveals that local property sales from January to November were 21.5 per cent ahead of the same period in 2011, and the value of those sales was 15.4 per cent up. 

The number of apartment and residential dwelling sales increased by 60.35 and 20.7 per cent, respectively, Locations statistics state. 

The value of those dwelling sales, however, was only 4.3 per cent up while apartment values were 18.1 per cent down. 

Last May’s 80 residential sales was the highest monthly figure since 2007, and November’s tally of 77 was the second highest in five years. 

Commenting on the latter figure, Queenstown’s Real Estate Institute of New Zealand spokesperson Kelvin Collins said investors, buying rental properties, are returning to the market for the first time in several years. 

“They’re now competing with first-home buyers for properties under $500,000.” 

Collins, in January last year, correctly predicted that the market would snap out of a five-year trough in 2012. 

Local Colliers International consultant John Scobie said in March that three factors are stimulating entry-level home buying – people affording deposits after coming off three years of KiwiSaver, banks funding 95 per cent mortgages and low interest rates. 

November’s launch of the first stage of the 800-section Shotover Country subdivision, beside Lake Hayes Estate, has proved popular with entry-level buyers. 

All 54 first-stage sections were priced below $200,000 and 27 have already sold with another four under contract. 

High-end real estate has also picked up this year – including a Hunter Road house that sold for a record $7 million. 

Millbrook Resort, near Arrowtown, announced last month that almost $9m of new sales had been recorded in the first quarter of its financial year, matching the amount reached for the entire previous financial year. 

Threepwood developer Jim Boult also revealed last week that there’d been 10 section sales in his Lake Hayes rural residential subdivision last year, far exceeding his expectations. 

That compared with four in 2010 and none in 2011. 

At the large mid-priced Jack’s Point subdivision there were 65 section sales last year – about 45 per cent up on 2011 – and the values were around 10 per cent higher.