Stampede at Jack’s Point


Frenzied section-buying has become a big feature of Queenstown’s real estate landscape.

Two weeks ago, 83 lots at the entry-level Shotover Country subdivision sold in minutes.

In Queenstown’s first special housing area, Bridesdale Farm, about 125 out of 149 sections have sold off the plans in recent months.

And sales at Jack’s Point have also gone ballistic, coupled with a major lift in pricing.

Eighty-plus sections have sold there this year, following 130 sales last year.

Jack’s Point was a major contributor to Queenstown section sales doubling from 18 in June to 36 last month, according to Real Estate Institute of New Zealand figures.

Local BayleysLocations agent Grant Coburn, who’s sold Jack’s Point property since the subdivision was launched, says seven sections sold in the space of 24 hours late last week.

He believes that locals are driving the sales boom.

“It’s people moving from Lake Hayes Estate, from Quail Rise, and people who have missed out on Shotover Country.

“There are people who’ve made the distinction between buying your 500 square metre section at Shotover Country, for example, for $250,000, and buying 1000sq m at Jack’s Point for $250,000.

“People are suddenly realising there aren’t other areas that are being developed – they’re frightened they’re going to miss out.”

Out of Jack’s Point’s original 670 sections, developers Darby Partners and Fletcher Residential, between them, now own fewer than 100 sections.

That scenario is also driving up prices.

Coburn estimates that section prices have jumped about $50,000 since last Christmas.

At the moment they’re averaging $250,000, he says.

A section at Coneburn Ridge, Darby Partners’ latest release, recently sold for more than $400,000.

Excluding sections at The Preserve, overlooking Lake Wakatipu, that’s the highest Jack’s Point section sale since prices came tumbling down in the wake of the global financial crisis.

Coburn reckons by the end of this year, the average price could be in the high-$200,000s.

BayleysLocations managing director David Gubb believes the prices still represent great value – in a development spread over 1200 hectares, with an international golf course just 10 minutes’ drive from Frankton.

“Where else in NZ could you still buy a section at $240,000 with the amenities that Jack’s Point’s got?”

Coburn adds: “I think people are now realising, as more and more of their friends move out there, that it’s a pretty special place.”

House prices are also on the move – currently they range from about $740,000 to $1.3 million.

In June, the New Zealand Herald newspaper reported that the average Jack’s Point house was worth $899,000.

“They’re going to start moving up to a million dollars,” Coburn says.

“We recently listed a house and within days we had five offers on it – I can’t remember that ever happening.”

He also notes that for the first time – again, excluding The Preserve – a house has been listed for $2m.

More than 50 houses are currently under construction.

Jack’s Point has become popular with home building companies.

David Reid Homes and Landmark Homes have built showhomes in the past and Classic Builders, Rilean Construction, GJ Gardner Homes and Stonewood Homes have also got into the act.

It’s commonly thought that Jack’s Point’s design covenants add significantly to the cost of house builds.

But a source, who doesn’t want to be named, says it can add as little as $25,000 to the cost of construction.