Local MP Todd Barclay has plunged into the Wakatipu’s heated property market.
The 26-year-old, parliament’s youngest MP, who’s been actively addressing the district’s shortage of affordable accommodation, has bought a townhouse at Butel Park, near Arrowtown, for $650,000.
Formerly based at his parents’ home in Gore, he says he’s bought in the Wakatipu as half his Clutha-Southland electorate’s population is based here.
Queenstown Airport also gives him handier air access to and from parliament in Wellington.
“It makes sense strategically, and there’s a lot of issues going on [in the Wakatipu] that being a local, and sort of being a part of it, probably gives me more of a licence to talk about them.”
Despite his healthy parliamentary salary, Barclay says it’s been quite hard to get into the local market.
“I suppose I’m probably in a similar situation to most young families.
“There’s a lot of people around in my age group looking to buy into the market, and the town needs people our age range - we’re the ones filling up a lot of the jobs.”
In his case, he says his added difficulty was that most local vendors, taking advantage of the rising market, are taking their properties to auction - “and I generally couldn’t make the auction”.
Despite moving to Arrowtown, Barclay says he’ll continue spending about a quarter of his non-Wellington time in the Wakatipu, a quarter in Gore and the other half around the rest of his huge electorate.
“Already, I’m sort of spending a couple of nights a week in Gore and a couple of nights a week in Queenstown, so instead of now spending a couple of nights in a hotel in Queensown, I’ll be able to spend it in my own house.”