Calling bidders: Bayleys' national auction manager Conor Patton in action on May 29


It was Queenstown’s most-anticipated residential property auction.

With the resort’s tourism economy having been hammered by Covid-19 restrictions, Bayleys Queenstown’s mega-auction on May 29 – the first major one since the crisis hit – was seen as a market barometer.

Beforehand, a Lower Shotover property listed for auction sold for $1,422,000 – more than $100,000 over the pre-auction offer.

The auction of the remaining 21 properties, including one each in Gore and Cromwell, started well.

The first two on offer, at Shotover Country, sold under the hammer for $950,000 and $800,000.

Thereafter, only two more sold on the spot – another Shotover Country home, for $1,250,000, and a Gore property for $266,000.

However, a Bridesdale Farm property, initially passed in at $680,000, sold soon after for $700,000.

The day after, a Lake Hayes Estate home, which had failed to attract a vendor bid at $800,000, sold for $935,000.

And by Monday night, a former Jack’s Point showhome was under contract, and another Shotover Country property and a Frankton Road one were under offer by Tuesday night.

In all cases, the buyers had been generated through the auction campaign.

Speaking after, Bayleys Queenstown executive director Stacy Coburn said the auction process had flushed out people “interested in purchasing at a level”.

“I think as things settle down and we get a few more benchmark sales, people will see where the values are.”