Russian pays record $3m for Picton home

05:59, Sep 17 2014
$3m Picton home
VIEW TO DIE FOR: Picton couple Chris and Kerri Sullivan sold their home to a Russian family for $3 million last week.

A Picton home which sold last week is the most expensive residential property ever sold in Marlborough, according to a real estate agent.

Bayleys Marlborough director Glenn Dick sold the 900sqm house for $3 million to a Russian family on behalf of Picton couple Chris and Kerri Sullivan.

The sale, which includes 4.9 hectares of land, marks a first for Marlborough, Dick said.

"I couldn't tell you that a residential house in the last 10 years has sold for more than $3 million based purely on merits."

The Russian family arrived in Nelson in March with the purpose of looking for a house in the Marlborough region, Dick said.

One helicopter ride was all it took.

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"The initial brief was to look for a lodge . . . we looked at various properties in the Marlborough Sounds and then we flew over this [Sullivan's] property and they liked the look of it so I called Chris from the helicopter."

Within an hour, the unfinished house had sold, he said. It would be a holiday home for the family, he said.

"The only condition - to make the 10-metre pool a 25-metre pool."

The five-bedroom house has an entertainment room, a kitchen and butler's kitchen, a heated swimming pool and a fully-tiled exterior. There is also a 12-car garage and a helipad. Views extend over Picton, Waikawa and most of Queen Charlotte Sound.

Dick said he showed the family other properties but "nothing else compared".

"They think the Queen Charlotte Sound is mind-blowing which I think is a feather in the region's cap."

Chris Sullivan, who with his wife owns restaurants and bars in New Zealand and around the world, said the sale of the property was a "bit of a fluke".

"It was unbelievable really. We thought we were going to live there long-term."

When Sullivan got the call from Dick, who was flying above in the helicopter, he could not believe the family wanted to buy their home, he said.

"I said ‘I don't believe those guys' and Glenn said ‘we've been flying around your house for an hour-and-a-half, they normally only hover for five minutes'."

After a quick look around the place, the man said "I'll buy your house," Sullivan said. And that was that.

"It's the quickest, most honest deal I've ever done . . . we'd only been living in it about six months and we built it for the long term but we got such a fantastic offer we couldn't say no.

"We are pretty happy."

Dick said the Russian family intended to spend summer exploring the Marlborough Sounds on their luxury launch, which arrives in Picton in November.

Dick was positive the sale of the property for $3m marked a turning point for the Picton and Marlborough Sounds property market.

The Marlborough Express