Luxury units behind Queenstown’s Hilton hotels are being promoted as an attractive investment now they’ve been turned into visitor accommodation.
The 28 fully-furnished apartments, ranging from two to six bedrooms, have been on the market at the Hilton’s Kawarau Village complex at Kelvin Heights over the past year.
Until two weeks ago, owners could either live in their apartment or rent it out long-term but they couldn’t let them out for short stays.
However, most of the apartments are now being managed for short-term accommodation by Queenstowner Andy Salek’s Staysouth.com.
The apartment management company is running them under the Village Queenstown brand.
Cameron Reed of realtors Ray White Queenstown says “the ability to have a short-term rental in there has boosted the enquiry level”.
“It does make them pretty attractive.”
Reed says about half the 28 units – spread over three buildings – have sold.
In recent weeks – spurred, Reed believes, by Village Queenstown – he’s sold or contracted to sell five of them.
“It was good to get just one property manager in there.
“They’re working in close consultation with the [Hilton and Kawarau] hotels to make sure the overall integrity of the development is maintained.”
Reed says asking prices have come down a little.
The range is now $475,000-$800,000 rather than $535,000-$955,000 – although one apartment did sell for $1,065,000.
“They’re extremely well-priced and obviously being part of the [Kawarau Village] development is pretty beneficial.”
Arguably, it’s also the best-value property in Kelvin Heights, regarded as New Zealand’s highest-priced suburb.
Apartment prices, Reed notes, “are sort of land values only [for] Kelvin Heights”.
Meanwhile, Staysouth general manager Sonya Archibald says advance bookings are strong.
“Queenstown tends to book out in advance of the winter season so these apartments have been a welcome addition, providing top-quality capacity.”