Big dollars paid for city homes in record-breaking 2021

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Tony Alexander says his December real estate survey with REINZ shows there is reduced buyer demand, although house prices hit new records in November.

In a year when rising house prices tumbled records, it was still Christchurch’s old-money suburb attracting the big dollars during 2021.

The three homes fetching the city’s top prices were all in the leafy suburb of Fendalton, according to property analyst CoreLogic.

The year saw records fall as prices rose in the face of high demand and a short supply of estate listings. The Real Estate Institute said New Zealand’s median house price rose 23 per cent in a year, while Canterbury had its largest annual increase since records began, a rise of 31 per cent.

Christchurch’s city’s median price has reached $700,500, while the national median is $925,000.

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CoreLogic warned that after a heated real estate market favouring sellers across the country in 2021, approaching headwinds could swing the market around to favour buyers in 2022.

Topping the price table for Christchurch this year was the $8 million paid for large modern home on a stream-side site in Waiarapa Tce. It was bought mid-year by business consultant XiaoJiang Jiang and his business partner Murray Macarthy.

The house was built in 2016 and has four bedrooms, a pool, and a pool house. It replaced a two-storey wooden home demolished after the earthquakes.

This Wairarapa Tce house in Fendalton sold for $8 million in mid-2021. It was the highest price paid for a home in Christchurch in 2021.
CHRIS SKELTON
This Wairarapa Tce house in Fendalton sold for $8 million in mid-2021. It was the highest price paid for a home in Christchurch in 2021.

Second-priciest was a $6.7m home in Desmond St, near Hagley Park, bought by businessman and property investor Jimmy Royal, formerly known as Jimmy Liu, and company director Anita Liu.

The modern house sits on part of the site formerly occupied by the heritage Skellerup family home, Danmark, which was also demolished after the quakes.

A $4.52m home on St Barnabas Lane bought by a trust was the third-dearest purchase in the city this year.

The $6.7m house in Desmond St, Fendalton, Christchurch.
CHRIS SKELTON
The $6.7m house in Desmond St, Fendalton, Christchurch.

A home in Glenstrae Rd, Redcliffs, and one each on Weka St, Fendalton, and Heaton St, Merivale, all sold for between $4m and $4.5m.

The family of the late designer and inventor John Britten recently sold the Riccarton house he designed and converted from old stables, but the title has not yet been transferred.

Fendalton also had the city’s highest median home value at $1.54m, closely followed by Scarborough Hill with $1.49m and Kennedys Bush with $1.42m.

More than $1m separates the median values of homes in the city’s dearest and cheapest suburbs.

The lowest median values were in Phillipstown ($401,500), Aranui ($416,000), and Linwood ($447,950).

This home in Harts Creek Lane at Clearwater resort sold for $3.87m.
STACY SQUIRES/Stuff
This home in Harts Creek Lane at Clearwater resort sold for $3.87m.

The suburbs where median values rose the most were Bishopdale, Hillmorton and Somerfield. All had an increase in values of about 32 per cent for the year.

Kennedys Bush, Christchurch central and Middleton had the smallest increase in median values.

The fastest suburbs for selling a home were Belfast, Halswell and Aranui. In all three suburbs, the median sale time was less than a fortnight. Homes in Akaroa and Diamond Harbour were slowest to sell.

New Zealand’s top sale price in 2021 was $22m paid for a five-bedroom waterfront home in Herne Bay, Auckland. Herne Bay also had the nation’s highest median value, $3.5m.

Greymouth has New Zealand’s cheapest homes.
John Kirk-Anderson/Stuff
Greymouth has New Zealand’s cheapest homes.

The next two highest prices paid for homes this year were both in Queenstown, fetching $18.25m and $16.1m.

Runanga near Greymouth had the nation’s lowest average home value, $193,700, with the Greymouth suburb of Cobden second lowest at $220,500.

CoreLogic’s chief property economist Kelvin Davidson said a turning point in the New Zealand housing market appeared to have been reached, with early signs of a rise in listings in Wellington, Dunedin, and Hamilton.

Davidson said New Zealand may see a buyer’s market emerge in 2022 for the first time in a few years.

This property on Wilding Rd, near Lakes Hayes, Queenstown, sold for $14.5m in 2021.
NZ Sothebys/Stuff
This property on Wilding Rd, near Lakes Hayes, Queenstown, sold for $14.5m in 2021.

Market headwinds included “affordability challenges”, tougher lending rules and rising interest rates, but he did not expect a serious market downturn.

“To be fair, it’s important to note that a reduction in vendors’ power may not necessarily equate to outright falls in house prices,” he said.

“But even so, although buyers will have to work pretty hard to get the finance in the first place, they have reasons to be optimistic about getting a bargain next year.”