They paid how much? This year's most expensive houses

New Zealanders bought and sold more than $50 billion worth of real estate in the last 12 months, but one couple was at the centre of the two biggest property sales of the year.

Celebrity property developer Simon Herbert and his wife Paula, a designer, paid $27.5 million for 15 Cremorne Street, in Auckland’s Herne Bay – the highest residential sale price of the year.

They also sold the house with the second-highest sale price – 542 Remuera Road – three months earlier to an overseas buyer, scooping $25.5 million.


Paula and Simon Herbert. Photo / Norrie Montgomery

Sales data provided by property analysts Valocity for the year to August 2018 offers the most complete picture of the top end of the property market in New Zealand.

Nine of the country’s ten most expensive property sales were in just a handful of Auckland’s best suburbs, with just one house outside the city making the top ten.

That house, a luxury pad in Queenstown’s desirable Kelvin Heights, sold for $12.5 million. The next highest sales in the South Island town came in at around $7 million.

The Valocity data, to be published in tomorrow’s OneRoof Property Report, also shows a dip in the total value and number of residential sales in New Zealand.

Total sales for the year to August 2018 numbered 78,959, down 11.2 percent on the 12 months before, while the total value of sales was down 7.4 percent.

OneRoof editor Owen Vaughan says: “The figures show the country’s biggest property markets are starting to plateau after successive years of growth, but turnover is still at a quite healthy level and the decision by the Reserve Bank to ease the tough lending rules should result in stronger sales for 2019.”

Valocity director of valuation innovation James Wilson says: “Nationwide levels of value growth have stalled significantly over the past twelve months fuelled mostly by the stalling of the Auckland market. However, at the higher end of the market well-presented properties are still transacting well, achieving strong prices. Buyers of such properties tend to not be so impacted by regulatory and finance constraints which are impacting other market participants.”

This year nine private Auckland houses changed hands for over $10 million.

The house the Herberts bought in Herne Bay was designed by top Kiwi architect Brent Hulena and features its own helicopter pad (handy for the couple’s trips to their Bay of Islands house, they told Spy when they bought in March), beach access and boatshed.


542 Remuera Road sold for $25.5 million. Photo / Supplied

Their Remuera mansion, previously owned by rich-lister David Richwhite and thoroughly modernised since they bought in 2010, is now being advertised for a weekly rent of $4500.

Vaughan said: “Neither sale matched either last year’s or the record prices for Auckland. Last year, a Takapuna beachfront house went for just under $29 million. New Zealand highest residential sale price - $39 million for Hanover boss Mark Hotchin’s Paratai Drive house at the end of 2013 - still stands.”

The city’s third most expensive home, another character house, a 1920s homestead at 100 Lucerne Road overlooking Orakei Basin, got $14.6 million. It too is being advertised for rent for $4300 a week.

11 Arney Crescent house in Remuera went for $14 million in June, while around the corner, and number ten in the rankings, 42 Arney Road place sold for $10.87 million in February.

The fifth highest sale was 118 Long Drive, in St Heliers, which changed hands for $13.3 million in June.

On the other side of town, agents marketed the cedar and shingle 1980s house at 73 Argyle Street, Herne Bay, with nearly 2800sq m of land and beach access, as a do-up opportunity: that may explain why it sold for a tad under its CV of $14 million, at $12.2 million.

41 Arthur Street, in Freemans Bay, and number nine in the rankings, was built by celebrities Sally Ridge and Adam Parore in 2007 and sold after they split in 2010. It sold again for $11.15 million at the end of March.

Vaughan said: “It’s interesting to note that Auckland’s Unitary Plan and the desire to make better use of available land is also driving high sales. Sitting just outside the top 10 was 312 Remuera Road, which sold for $10.7 million.

“Marketing for the Simon Carnachan-designed home noted the new terrace housing and apartments zoning for the 1700sq m site. Also, a spreading transitional villa on a rare 4000sq m site at 4 Golf Road, in Epsom, sold for $9.8 million – it is in a single house zone.”

Top sales outside of Auckland include a nearly 900sq m plot with an old brick and tile house at 7 Oceanbeach Road, Mount Maunganui, which went for $6.3 million. Several other properties along the prime beach sold for well over $3 million.

In Wellington the top sale was 15 Seaview Terrace, Northland, whose stunning views across the city and harbour brought in a little under $4.4 million, while in Christchurch, a super-modern house at 20 Weka St, Fendalton, fetched $6.1 million.

Baby boomers looking to escape to the lifestyle provinces of Northland, Nelson/Tasman and Hawke’s Bay may get a shock. While you do get nice neighbours - wineries - rural places around Upper Moutere went for over $3.1 million and $2.5 million. A place above Havelock North’s Tukituki River got $3.2million, while Vineyard Villa on the exclusive Landings, in Rangihoua, outside of Kerikeri got nearly $4.8 million.

But nothing compares to Australia, where a Sydney home of the late Lady (Mary) Fairfax, sold in September for AU$100 million. The neighbours sold last year for AU$71 million, and three other properties in the city’s top ten last year went for over $AU60 million.


Sales figures for the 12 months to August 2018. Data provided by Valocity

This story was originally published here

OneRoofJustin Flitter