A Queenstown real estate agency is recording a splurge in the sale of high-value sites in the Wakatipu.
These range from lots for super-homes at Wyuna Preserve, near Glenorchy, and Jack’s Point’s The Preserve, to hotel development sites in Queenstown and Arthurs Point.
Ray White Queenstown owner Bas Smith has sold four lots this year at Wyuna Preserve.
A United States buyer paid a staggering $2,650,000 for Lot 29, which is 2.89 hectares.
That’s thought to be the highest residential section sale in the Wakatipu this year - the all-time record is possibly $2.85m paid for a Closeburn Station section in 2014.
Expat Kiwis bought the other three Wyuna lots for $1.45m, $1.4m and $1.125m.
Smith says 34-lot Wyuna Preserve “was regarded as the premier lifestyle development in New Zealand” when released in 2009 by American Tom Tusher, who owns the nearby Blanket Bay lodge, and Queenstown developer John Darby.
In its first few years, 14 lots sold - one fetched $2.7m and four, at the Queenstown end, were snapped up for the Aro Ha wellness retreat.
Sales have slowed in recent years.
Smith says Tusher is delighted the first NZers have bought at Wyuna - “he has always hoped that Kiwis would become a part of that exclusive community”.
He adds that the four latest buyers all intend adding to Wyuna’s eight existing homes - “each one of them noted their dismay at how busy the Wakatipu Basin’s traffic congestion has become, and how rare the offering at Wyuna Preserve is”.
Ray White also recently sold two lots to Kiwis at Jack’s Point’s exclusive The Preserve for $1.7m apiece.
The vendors were interests associated with ex-Hanover Finance’s Eric Watson and Cromwell’s Highlands Motorsport Park developer Tony Quinn.
Meanwhile, Ray White Queenstown agent Buzz Scown has sold two local development sites for mega-bucks.
The 7825 square metre site beside Rydges Lakeland hotel sold for $9.3m, plus GST, to an Auckland-based Chinese buyer who intends building a hotel.
The vendor purchased the site in 2013 for $3.2m, while an earlier owner, local architect Maurice Orr, had plans consented for a 300-room hotel.
Scown’s also brokered the sale of a 3.5 hectare site at Arthurs Point - once occupied by the Cattledrome tourist attraction - for $7m, including GST.
The buyer is another Auckland-based Chinese investor who’s also looking at building visitor accommodation - the site was formerly consented for a hotel, residential and commercial development, Shotover Terraces.
Mountain Scene understands Ray White’s also sold a waterfront hotel site in front of DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Queenstown for about $6m.
Smith says demand for development sites dwindled after the GFC as they’d been over-valued, and finance companies went to the wall.
“The reality now is that Queenstown is hugely desirable on the world stage, and development projects are coming into their own again, especially with the shortage of visitor accommodation.”