A New York businessman who paid $6 million for a yet-to-be-built Remuera apartment has scrapped the original plans to create his own dream pad over two levels.

The man, who plans to move to New Zealand this year, bought two apartments on different levels and redesigned them to form a sprawling 382sq m home.

The apartment, in the St Marks development in Remuera, will be the American family's "city pad". Their main home is on Waiheke Island, a short commute from Auckland.

The $6m Remuera apartment has high-end fixtures and views across the Hauraki Gulf. Photo / supplied
The $6m Remuera apartment has high-end fixtures and views across the Hauraki Gulf. Photo / supplied

"They purchased apartments on two levels and have redesigned them to create bedrooms on the fifth floor and a guest wing and living area on the sixth," said Bayleys agent Trent Quinton.

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The buyer was introduced to the property by New Zealand Sotheby's International Realty. The same company sold the family their new home on Waiheke Island.

The dream pad has a high stud, floor-to-ceiling windows, German oak flooring and stunning views from the Coromandel ranges to the Sky Tower, with Rangitoto as a focal point.

Quinton said despite the high sale price multi-million dollar apartments were becoming increasingly common.

"The sale price was pretty amazing but we are going to see more selling at that price," Quinton said.

"Apartment living is more accepted and developers are now building spacious home-like apartments rather than shoeboxes."

The recent $6 million sale is thought to be the second largest apartment sale this year.

In March, a 319sq m five-bedroom apartment on St Stephen's Ave Parnell sold for $8m, according to data from property valuation website Homes.co.nz.

A 319sqm apartment in this St Stephen's Ave complex in Parnell sold for a record $8m in March. Photo / Ray White
A 319sqm apartment in this St Stephen's Ave complex in Parnell sold for a record $8m in March. Photo / Ray White

At $6 million the price for the 382sq m Remuera apartment works out at $15,000 a square metre. At $8 million the 319sq m Parnell apartment works out at $25,000 a square metre.

The record sale came as Prime Minister John Key urged Aucklanders struggling to get into their first home to look at apartments as an alternative.

The average house value in Auckland this month ticked over $1 million.

David Nagel from QV said despite big sales most apartments were less than $1 million.

"With the risk involved in developments and cost of building most developers will build apartments they know will sell easily so they can move on to the next project," Nagel said.

"There have only been a couple of sales over $5 million in the past couple of years."

But Jeremy O'Hanlon from Homes.co.nz said apartment living was started to show good capital gains as it had a lot of appeal for overseas buyers used to apartment living.

"Auckland's apartments offer internationally recognised convenience that Kiwis are a little blinded by given their historic focus on the quarter-acre dream," O'Hanlon said.

O'Hanlon said data on the Homes.co.nz website showed Auckland apartment capital gains were in line with other properties in the past four years.

He said many apartments offered water views, which were hard to come by, or extremely expensive, in a traditional property.

A high-end apartment at The International in central Auckland has stunning views over Rangitoto that help justify the price indication of $6,850,000.

The apartments have double-glazing, ducted heating and promise six-star hotel-style living every day.

The high-spec penthouse apartment at The International (pictured) has a price indication of more than $6,850,000. Photo / supplied
The high-spec penthouse apartment at The International (pictured) has a price indication of more than $6,850,000. Photo / supplied

The developer behind the $6 million St Marks luxury pad is former Remuera breast surgeon Dr John Harman.

An accident left Harman unable to operate so he turned his hand to property developing.

Harman said the majority of purchasers were young professionals and downsizing baby boomers.

More than 80 per cent of the high-end apartments had sold.

Site works are advanced and approximately 80 per cent of the 6m, two-level basement has been excavated already.

Completion is due for the first quarter of 2018.