Top city sales near $4m mark

LIZ MCDONALD
Last updated 05:00 13/02/2013

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Christchurch's swankiest house sales in the past year show where the money is in a city under rebuild.

Two Fendalton homes sold during 2012 for close to $4 million, more than 10 times the average price, to buyers from the construction and freight sectors.

Both homes tick all the boxes for luxury home ownership - large modern house, big private rear section, swimming pool, stream boundary and prestigious address.

At $3.9m, the September sale of a Glandovey Rd home was the city's priciest, according to Quotable Value.

The seller was mortgage and real estate business founder Mike Pero, who developed the property on a double site.

The buyer was trucking and logistics company Mainfreight co-founder Neil Graham, said by the National Business Review rich list to be worth $65m and who hit the headlines two years ago when he paid $2.8m for an Aston Martin sports car.

Graham resigned his Mainfreight directorship in 2011 and last year founded Trade Me competitor Wheedle.

At $3.7m, the city's second-highest house sale price was in Kereru Ln, just west of Mona Vale. The sellers were Andrew and Amanda McKellar, a couple with farming and irrigation business interests, and the buyer was Leighs Construction founder and head Anthony Leighs and his wife, Jane, an arts marketing manager.

Leighs Construction has ramped up its business since the earthquakes and expected revenue of $50m in the last financial year.

Marketing material for the Glandovey Rd home described it as "reminiscent of Frank Sinatra's Twin Palms Estate", and "a timeless, retro, yet ultra-modern five bedroom home".

Built of schist, plastered brick and jarrah timber, the house boasts a lounge doubling as a home theatre, four-car garaging, and an entertainer's kitchen overlooking a heated alfresco dining and pool area.

Pero said he had enjoyed living in the house but found it too big and was building again in Avonhead.

"It was arguably worth more [than the sale price] but that's what it sold for on the day, and Neil has continued to add value to it. It's a beautiful property and I was very proud of it."

The rating valuations of the Glandovey Rd and Kereru Ln properties are $4m and $4.24m respectively.

The two biggest sales do not necessarily represent the city's most valuable homes, however. The priciest houses are spread between Fendalton, the hill and southeast beach suburbs, and lifestyle blocks on the city's outskirts.

The Redcliffs house Philip Carter lost over a cliff in the earthquakes was worth an estimated $8m, while car dealer turned property developer Paul Kelly's new Sumner waterfront home is said by industry sources to be worth $6m.

New Zealand's priciest home sold during 2012 was a $9.1m waterfront home in the Auckland suburb of Milford. The house, built in Cape Cod style, was bought by Auckland business couple Hugh and Pixie Jones.

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- The Press

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