Frankton reality check

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An entire Queenstown suburb is struggling to shift properties because the whole area is overpriced, a long-time local real estate agent believes. 

Get real, Richard Stringer bluntly tells Frankton vendors in a local newsletter – and he didn’t shy away when Mountain Scene asked him to elaborate. 

“We’re definitely seeing the volume of sales in [Frankton] slowing down,” says Stringer of Harcourts.
Queenstown’s market overall has slowed a little “but disproportionately Frankton has slowed a lot”. 

Across all agencies, Stringer tots up more than 70 Frankton properties on the market. 

Based on the suburb’s rate of sale in the past year, that’s about 28 months’ supply – yet in the past three months there have been only three sales. 

There’s no shortage of buyers – Stringer alone has eight active Frankton buyers and other agents have plenty, too, he says. “But there’s all these properties sitting there not selling.” 

There’s only one conclusion. “The majority of properties for sale in Frankton at present are priced above the market and buyers are not being tempted.” 

But others say vendors right throughout the Wakatipu are having to rethink prices. 

“Meeting the market in pricing property remains one of the most important messages for vendors intending to sell,” Real Estate Institute of New Zealand local spokesperson Adrian Snow says. 

Local mortgage broker Mark Pullar says the market “feels a bit sluggish”, particularly with local buyers. 

“Local mums and dads or first-home buyers have certainly been taking their time [to] make sure they’re paying the right price,” Pullar adds. 

Plenty of sunshine, a new school, the Events Centre, Alpine Aqualand and Remarkables Park all make Frankton family friendly, Stringer says. 

“But people aren’t going to pay over the odds. 

“There aren’t so many buyers for the local family home, we haven’t got that many families upgrading perhaps out of their unit in Fernhill to a family home in Frankton in the sun. 

“[But] they will if the price is right.” 

If buyers sense a property’s overpriced, they won’t look at it – or if they do, they won’t make offers, Stringer says. 

And Frankton vendors must also remember they’re competing with nearby Lake Hayes Estate. 

“They can buy something [at LHE] pretty new, double-glazed, three bedrooms, two bathrooms, double garage, in the low to mid-$500,000s.” 

How overpriced is Frankton? 

Stringer cites a brace of three-bedroom, two-bathroom units “sitting in the market in the mid-$400,000s”. 

“I think if they were priced in the low $400,000s that would be all it would take [to sell].”