Payouts big boost for luxury home sales

18:25, Jan 17 2014
89 Dyers Pass Rd
SPOT THE DIFFERENCE: 89 Dyers Pass Rd one of the most expensive homes sold in Christchurch last year.

They're big, they're beautiful, and they're being paid for with insurance cheques.

Christchurch's luxury house market has been revived by locals replacing homes too costly to repair.

In November alone three homes fetched a total of $11.4 million, the three biggest sales in the city during 2013.

121 Riverlea Estate Drive
TOP AND BOTTOM: 121 Riverlea Estate Drive, Kainga, one of the least expensive homes sold in Canterbury last year.

Overlooking the city from lofty Dyers Pass Rd in Cashmere, the priciest sold for $4.8m, slightly under its 2007 $5.08m rating valuation. The price is the highest paid for a house in the city for several years.

The seller was a commercial lawyer. The lucky new owners are a retired couple with a background in accountancy, business directorships, horse breeding, and arts patronage.

Advertising material describes the 2006-built hillside house as "surpassing the finest" and "a firm statement in style".


Advertisements detail a "magnificent entrance" and "elaborate and spacious foyer", plus panoramic views, marble tiles, parquet floors, four lounges including a media room, a home automation system, and elevator. Pictures reveal two-storeys, large rooms decorated in neutral tones, and stone steps leading down to the sweeping lawn with a summer pavilion.

But the new owners may need a hand with both the vacuuming and the mowing. With 790sq m of floorspace it's four times the size of the average new home, and the section is a generous 4000sqm.

Not quite as costly but still in the swanky category were the two Fendalton houses placing second and third in the top-price stakes.

Buyers paid over $3.4m and $3.2m respectively for the homes in Straven and Glandovey Rds.

Real estate agent Rosemarie de Jong of Bayleys, who sold all three of 2013's dearest homes, said all the buyers had settled insurance claims and chose to buy rather than rebuild. She expected more such luxury sales this year.

"There are buyers floating around. We don't have enough stock and if the homes are well-located, they'll sell quickly - $3m homes that have sat on the market for years are selling now."

De Jong did not wish to reveal her commission for selling over $11m of homes in one month, except to say it was "enough to put a turkey on the table for Christmas as well as a ham".

With other luxury homes up for sale now, Christchurch's post-earthquake $4.8m benchmark could soon be topped. A modern houses on the market in Huntsbury and another in Sumner are both expected to sell for $4m plus.

But New Zealand's biggest residential real estate sale last year puts Christchurch in the shade. A seven-bedroom clifftop mansion in the suburb of Remuera, part-owned by former Hanover Finance director Mark Hotchin, sold to businessman Deyi Shi for $39m.


One "surpasses the finest", the other is shrouded in overgrown bush with an outside loo.

While Christchurch's dearest home fetched close to $5 million last year, the cheapest went for just $85,000, according to Quotable Value.

With the impressive sounding address of Riverlea Estate Drive, the house is in Kainga on the northern outskirts of the city. It is described as a three-bedroom, one-bathroom house built in the 1950s.

An even cheaper Canterbury home was sold in Waimate's Riverside Village for $73,000. Jack Townsend, who sold a unit near the Waimate home, said it was a quiet area. Most of the units were used as baches but some people did live there. "It's a nice wee spot."

The Press