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Real Estate Investar Blog

Boom and bust tourist town's values soar over three years

Sales are down in the wider Queenstown property market after a price surge but there are still plenty of choices for high end real estate buyers.

One is the yet-to-be built penthouse in central Queenstown's latest apartment venture going for $6.5 million.

The penthouse is part of developer Kevin Carlin's $100 million five-star Queenstown Views apartment development on Brecon St leading up to the Skyline gondola.

Colliers director in Queenstown Alastair Wood said there was no ceiling for well heeled buyers and luxury properties generally sold regardless of market cycles.

High profile deals this year included billionaire Graham Hart's $24 million holiday home purchase at Closeburn, and Australian billionaire Tim Roberts' lakefront buy at Walter Peak where he plans to build a home.

Wood said there were several properties for sale in the $5m to $10m bracket.

For example, a 740 square metre mansion on 1.6 hectares at Dalefield is listed with Harcourts at $5.8m.

Another at Arthurs Point beneath mountain views seeks a new owner for $6.1m.

QV values the 25,059 properties in Queenstown Lakes District at $32 billion – double that of three years ago.

Higher values have spilled over to outlying places like Kingston and Albert Town.

The overall median price for houses sits at $920,000, from $780,000 at the same time last year.

However, sales fell by about 38 per cent in September this year, compared with the same month in 2016.

Queenstown's market is traditionally boom and bust, and the last collapse in 2008 saw distressed properties on the market for several years before the uplift of the past five years.

Woods said the speculative buyers who made up 10 per cent to 20 per cent of the market had disappeared, many people had already traded up, and there were fewer listings.

Projects at the planning stages included the former Wakatipu High School site, and a planned Ladies Mile subdivision.

Queenstown's pricey residential market is reflected in the commercial sector, with prices of about $1000 per square metre in the Frankton Flats area, compared with $250 per sqm at Cromwell 45 minutes drive away.

"Cromwell has almost becoming the distribution hub for Queenstown and Wanaka," Wood said.

Gail Hudson of Bayleys said there was a lot of building still going on around the Frankton Flats area and Remarkables Park fuelled by tourism, which would stave off a real estate crash.

"I think we're bucking that trend at present. Queenstown is feeling very positive."

Hudson said the lack of new listings meant people who wanted to sell properties had fewer choices to buy another and were more inclined to delay decisions.

"Some people thought prices would keep going up. Sometimes it's better to sell a year early than a day late."

Developments under way on the periphery of Queenstown include Hanley Farm next to Jack's Point, where roading and infrastructure work is under way. Buyers have placed deposits on several hundred sections with titles due to be issued soon.

Cromwell had also become a popular alternative, although more recently those prices had accelerated, Hudson said.

Far-sighted developer Tony Quinn has just announced plans for a world-class golf course and residential development for his Highlands Motorsports Park which opened in 2013.

Quinn's motorsports developments include real estate offerings for car sport fans inclined to spend a weekend at the many scheduled events.

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