High-end agents happy

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The rich and famous – and perhaps infamous – bought 17 homes in the Wakatipu last year with price-tags of $2 million-plus. 

The figures come from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand and Colliers International. 

Excluding any private transactions which weren’t captured by the official stats, the value of those sales amounted to $57,844,500 – an average of $3.4m. 

New Zealand Sotheby’s International Realty sold seven of those high-end homes, Luxury Real Estate sold six and other local realtors sold the remaining four. 

Luxury Real Estate transacted the year’s biggest deal – a Queenstown-record $7m for the 5.7ha White Shadows property on Hunter Road near Arrowtown. 

Sotheby’s handled the next two biggest deals – $6.4m for a Pinnacle Place address on Queenstown Hill and $5.5m for a Lake Hayes Rd home. 

By dollar value across the $2m-plus sector, Sotheby’s sold 44 per cent and Luxury Real Estate 40 per cent. 

Luxury Real Estate was set up by Terry Spice and Nick Horton two-and-a-half years ago. 

“The first year was pretty tough,” Spice says. 

“But we believed Queenstown would come back and we backed ourselves. 

“We’re not getting carried away but we’ve got a lot more confidence in the luxury end of the market. 

“There were a few properties that had sat on the market for a while that we got rid of last year. 

“The owners knew they had a special property so they held on as long as they did and we managed to get some very good prices for them.” 

Spice says the Australian market forms 55-60 per cent of their buyer pool – and the Auckland market is also getting stronger. 

“We transacted two deals last year with people who’d sold in Auckland to move down here on a full-time basis.”
However, local buyers snapped up the dearest properties, Spice says. 

Queenstown, he believes, is short of sufficient international-quality homes so some purchasers are buying land and building super-homes instead. 

“Some people are paying up to $10,000 per square metre on their builds,” Spice says. 

Spice and Horton recently opened a local office for the first time. 

Their Arrowtown premises, in a new building, are open by appointment only