Eight-figure listing: This Ayrburn Ridge property, in the middle, is Millbrook’s first $10m-plus resale listing. PICTURE: STILL VISION PHOTOGRAPHY

Real estate activity’s again on the upswing at Arrowtown’s high-end Millbrook Resort following a quieter 18 months or so.

Property and development director Ben O’Malley attributes this slumber, after an initial post-Covid ‘‘big burst of sales’’, to inflation hitting home.

‘‘People got a bit wary of building, construction prices were a bit unreliable, so our land-only stuff was pretty quiet.’’

That changed about a month out from last October’s election, he says.

‘‘There was some comment made by some politician that just flicked the switch.’’

It might have related to comment about an incoming National Party government reversing the foreign buyer ban — which, despite National winning, didn’t eventuate.

For the four months following October 1, O’Malley says property sales tallied a ‘‘very strong’’ $42 million, comprising about $34m in resales and the balance in new sales.

Values are also rising.

‘‘A house that was sold two-and-a-half years ago at about $6m resold recently at $9m.’’

When land sales dried up, he says they pivoted to developing homes themselves.

This included four houses, called ‘New Settlers’, in the last undeveloped area of the original resort, which all sold prior to completion.

‘‘We’re speccing another two houses called ‘The Ploughman’s’ on a newer part of the resort and we’re about to release soon another four on
‘The Grand Terrace’ at Mill Farm.’’

Under construction is Millbrook’s largest home, at 902 square metres, on a double section of about 4000sqm.

And, setting another record, the resort also has its first $10m-plus listing, on Ayrburn Ridge.

‘‘A lot of houses at Millbrook are worth well in excess of $10m, but no one’s ever put one on the market,’’ O’Malley says.

Speaking of values, he recalls, when starting at Millbrook 23 years ago, a resort record of $700,000 had just been set for a Mews home.

A similar house, he says, just sold for $4.9m.

O’Malley estimates 300 homes have been completed — the resort’s consented for 450.

Of the 42 lots alongside the nine new holes at Mill Farm — now part of the Coronet 18 — he says about 24 are left to sell.

‘‘We are holding back quite a few to do house-land developments ourselves — those are in more visually-sensitive areas, so we will look to control the architecture ourselves.’’

Of Millbrook’s buyers, O’Malley says by far the biggest proportion are from Auckland, though Australians are coming back to the market.

Most homes are holiday homes, though he notes the population of permanents is increasing.

There’s also a good number of ‘‘part-time permanents’’ who split their time between here and other locations, he adds.

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