Land ahoy at Lake Hayes

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Queenstown’s first fast-track housing development starts its public push today.

Huge interest is expected in a 150-section subdivision called Bridesdale Farm, at Lake Hayes.

The development – between the Kawarau River and Hayes Creek subdivision – is understood to be offering sections, some as small as 300 square metres, for less than $200,000.

It will also offer dearer 700 to 900sq m plots.

The 40 hectare farm, formerly owned by Queenstowner King Allen, was bought last year by Bridesdale Farm Developments.

The company’s application to consider the land a ‘special housing area’ has been conditionally approved by the local council.

It will be forwarded to Minister of Housing Nick Smith for his approval.

A price list hasn’t been released yet but it might cost as little as $450,000 to buy land and build a three-bedroom house.

That compares with Queenstown’s median property price, for the past 12 months, of $595,000.

Local property experts have been saying Queenstown urgently needs more residential subdivisions.

Not only will that cater for the burgeoning population but a surge of new sections should ensure property prices don’t get out of control.

Queenstown’s Bayleys Locations is the listing agency for Bridesdale Farm.

Its executive director, Stacy Coburn, comments: “There’s a scarcity of new developed residential land of this size coming on line, and given our growing population, timing couldn’t be better.

“This is an exciting new subdivision launch, which will appeal to a wide variety of purchasers, where the developer has provided a simple and affordable plan, whilst at the same time maintaining the integrity of the development with good design covenants.

“This is a prime opportunity for investors to take advantage before the next upswing in the Queenstown market.”

According to Companies Office records, Bridesdale Farm Developments is owned by Auckland-based Amarok Holdings.

The sole director is Queenstowner Sarah Denise Maguire, of Kelvin Heights.

To meet pent-up demand, the developer is creating a sense of urgency by calling for registrations of interest.

Those signing up and paying a small bond will be allocated time slots to get first pick of a section or sections in the development’s first stage.

Sections can only be viewed on three ‘open home’ days before the official launch on February 21.

The last time a similar sales process was used locally was for the first stage of Lake Hayes Estate in 2002.

Would-be buyers camped out overnight to get the first pick of sections.

Those first sections were priced from only $80,000 to $110,000.

A unique feature at Bridesdale is that as part of their titles, each buyer will be given an allotment, near the Kawarau River, on which to build a shed and plant a veggie garden.

Meanwhile, local council communications manager Michele Poole says there have been 16 expressions of interest from developers for ‘special housing areas’ in the Wakatipu.

The proposed areas are “well spread around the Wakatipu Basin”, she says.

Under a new Queenstown Lakes housing accord signed by the Government and council last October, qualifying developments in these areas can be streamlined and fast-tracked.

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