Queenstown house prices at 'crisis' level

A 360sq m section at the Bridesdale Farm subdivision - a special housing area aimed at addressing the resort's housing affordability problem - is advertised for $755,000. Photo / Otago Daily Times
A 360sq m section at the Bridesdale Farm subdivision - a special housing area aimed at addressing the resort's housing affordability problem - is advertised for $755,000. Photo / Otago Daily Times

In another sign of Queenstown's housing crisis, a house and land package in the resort's newest entry-level subdivision is being advertised for $755,000.

That is 68 per cent higher than the country's median house price of $450,000.

A building company is advertising the 360sq m section at the Bridesdale Farm subdivision - a special housing area aimed at addressing the resort's housing affordability problem - on behalf of a third party owner. If the sale proceeds as advertised, a 124sq m home with a single garage would be built on the land.

That comes as a surprise to Queenstown Lakes Community Housing Trust executive officer Julie Scott. "That's certainly a big change from the $450,000 land and house package that Bridesdale was originally marketing," Ms Scott said.

She was disappointed the entry-level price for a home in Queenstown was reaching that level.

"It really highlights the crisis we're in, and opportunists are taking advantage of that market.

"People have nowhere to rent and no security of tenure, so they're trying to get into any sort of ownership."

Mike Greer Homes Wanaka is advertising the package, and will build the two-storey, three-bedroom home earmarked for the section.

General manager Tane Tawera confirmed the owner would have paid about $260,000 for the land originally, but its value was "a lot higher" now.

"They're wanting a bit more for it, with the current market."

Adding to the price was the house chosen for the section, which was among the more expensive types allowed in the subdivision.

His company had bought five sections at Bridesdale Farm in its own right, of which four had been sold and the fifth was under offer.

He agreed the market was tight for affordable homes in the district.

"Unfortunately, it's not getting any cheaper at the moment."

Bridesdale Farm developer Chris Meehan told the Otago Daily Times he did not wish to comment.

His 134-lot subdivision, which borders Lake Hayes Estate, was the first in the resort to gain government approval as a special housing area.

Queenstown Lakes District Council-appointed commissioners gave it final sign-off last month.

REINZ figures for February show Queenstown's median house rose 37.6 per cent on a year earlier to $782,000.

The Massey University Home Affordability Report, released last week, rated Central Otago Lakes as the second least affordable region in the country behind Auckland.

The report said the region was one of only four where housing affordability deteriorated during the first quarter of this year.

- Otago Daily Times

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