Suburb spotlight: Kelburn

KELBURN: One of the Capital's oldest and wealthiest suburbs.
JOHN NICHOLSON
KELBURN: One of the Capital's oldest and wealthiest suburbs.

Kelburn combines the benefits of inner suburbia with genteel character and a green-belt lifestyle.

One of the Capital's oldest and wealthiest suburbs, it is only minutes from downtown, but is cushioned from the urban hubbub by its elevation, complete with panoramic views, and the Botanic Gardens.

Kelburn also has a village atmosphere, with the Church of St Michaels & All Angels, its own butchery, bakery and pub, and a mix of cafes and boutique shops that include one of Wellington's most colourful antique dealerships, Peter Wedde.

Kelburn's also home to an iconic tourist attraction, the Wellington Cable Car, which links the city to not only the suburb, but also Victoria University.

Kelburn's 3650 residents range from students who want to rent near the historic campus to some of Wellington's most prominent citizens whose homes are among the city's most gracious.

Colonial settlement dates from the early 1840s, when the land was largely used for farming and forestry (it was known as Upland Farm and the suburb was named after Viscount Kelburne, the son of a former governor, Lord Glasgow).

The population was minimal until the early 1900s, when the cable car improved access to the suburb and Victoria College was built.

The population increased slightly between 2001 and 2006, when 15 new homes increased the number of private residences to 1509.

Compared to Wellington City, Kelburn has a higher proportion of high-income households - 41.8 per cent earn above $100,000 versus 30.7 percent - and a higher proportion who own their dwellings mortgage-free.

The most affordable properties tend to be two-bedroom townhouses and apartments, which sell in the mid-high $300,000 range. At the other end of the scale are homes that fetch from $3.5 million-$4 million. They typically have five or more bedrooms, multiple living areas, views, grounds and exceptional presentation.

In the last six months, 15 house sales were registered. Sale prices ranged from $335,000, for a two-bedroom unit in North Terrace, to $9.365 million for a 720-square-metre house on a 2315sqm section in Aurora Tce.

But because the latter was a non-bona fide sale, the median price of $750,000 is a more accurate measure of property values than the average for this period, $1.23 million.

Five of the sales were for houses built in the 1900s, one in the 1890s, two in the 1910s and one in the 1920s.

For the six months ending October, rents averaged $447 a week for a two-bedroom house, $538 a week for three bedrooms, and $565 a week for four bedrooms.

A two-bedroom apartment typically costs $450 a week and a four-bedroom flat, $582.

What to Know

SCHOOL ZONES
Schools include Kelburn Normal School, Wellington Girls'' College, Wellington College, Wellington High School & Com Ed Centre, Rongotai College, and St Patrick''s School (Kilbirnie).

COMMUNITY FACILITIES
Victoria University, Carter Observatory, Botanic Gardens, cable car, Church of St Michael's & All Angels.

MEDIAN HOUSE PRICE
$750,000

RENTS
$538 a week for a three-bedroom house.

SHOPS
Village-style mix of boutique shops, cafes, restaurants, butchery, bakery, vet.

The Dominion Post