Eye-popping price for apartment

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This Blue Peaks apartment fetched almost $1.4m at auction last Thursday

A 90 square metre Queenstown apartment sold at auction last week for a head-turning $1.399 million – that’s about $15,500 per square metre.

The price, which well exceeded expectations, is one of the highest ever paid for a Queenstown apartment of this size.

Bought by an undisclosed buyer, the two-bedroom Blue Peaks apartment – with a capital valuation of $630,000 – had been owned for the past two years by Auckland couple Kate and Richard Thode.

They decided to test the market after their neighbouring three-bedroom apartment sold at auction for $1.275m.

Kate, a prominent interior designer, says they completely renovated their unit.

“I thought I over-specced it, initially, but obviously it paid dividends in the end,” she says.

She chose mostly overseas products like wallpaper and fabrics from French brand Elitis, as well as Italian tiles and bespoke furniture from Montreux Furniture, in Christchurch.

Local Harcourts listing agent Jason Drewett believes the auction price reflects both “an immaculately-presented property”, and the fact it’s only about 50 metres from the CBD.

“We had something like 70 to 80 email and phone inquiries, which is phenomenal.”

Harcourts Queenstown managing director Kelvin Collins thinks the price paid also results from a lack of property in this sector of the market.

He believes the sale will help stimulate developers into building in-town apartments. “Up till now, prices haven’t been such that you could build an in-town apartment and make a buck off it.”

It’s understood record sale prices have recently been recorded in two other Queenstown apartment blocks – Beechwood Apartments and Alpine Meadows.

Meanwhile, a run-down Frankton tennis court last month netted just over $1m and a humble old central Queenstown cottage sold at auction in July for $3m.