Looking back on the year that was, the property market was full of the usual dire commentary of an overheated market with rapidly rising prices and a supply that's nowhere near on par with demand.

But amidst all the doom and gloom a number of property gems lightened the mood.

Corazon Miller takes a look back at some of 2016's interesting property offers.

Tirau's ram and sheep pals

61-63 Main Rd, Tirau

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Tirau's corrugated iron sheep and ram sold in November to an anonymous buyer for an undisclosed price. Photo: Bayleys
Tirau's corrugated iron sheep and ram sold in November to an anonymous buyer for an undisclosed price. Photo: Bayleys

It was likely the one and only chance this year, if not this decade, to get your hands on a large corrugated animal big enough to house a cafe and shop.

The installations were commissioned by the property's former owners, Nancy and John Drake.

The sheep was set up in 1994 as a wool and craft store in the small Waikato town of Tirau and the ram, designed by Steven Clothier, had its body set up next to it in 2005.

The ram's head followed more than a decade later in early 2016.

The animal duo was listed on the market in October and sold for an undisclosed price to a buyer who chose to remain anonymous.

Somewhere over the rainbow

7 Fortification Rd

Peeking out among the greenery of Wellington's Karaka Bay is a cluster of colourful turrets that make up Britten House - an architectural triumph that's been included in the Phaidon Atlas of World Architecture.

Built for former priest, broadcaster and writer, Sir Desmond Britten in the 1970s, the steep clifftop property offers a picturesque view of the at-times choppy waters of the Cook Strait.

The interior of the unusually striking abode, with its winding staircases, sun-lounges and dining rooms and many glass windows and ceilings, presents an image reminiscent of J.R.R. Tolkien's Hobbitown.

The 250sqm house, on 502sqm of land, was listed for sale by Wellington Real Estate company, Tommy's, in October and remains open to offers over $850,000.

Home worship

8848 State Highway 26, Puriri

The 103-year old Puriri Church just south-east of Thames on edge of the Hauraki Plains sold in September. Photo: Bayleys.
The 103-year old Puriri Church just south-east of Thames on edge of the Hauraki Plains sold in September. Photo: Bayleys.

For more than 50 years, a quaint little church in the small township of Puriri served its congregation - until the populace dwindled to the point it couldn't manage its upkeep.

Several attempts at restoring the church fell through and the decision was finally made to put the modest piece of gothic revival architecture under the hammer.

It sold in September for just $141,000 to Lesley Spencer and Dallum Brown who have made it their mission to forge a homey space inside the church as they build their equally new relationship.

A roving art gallery

It's not your usual "property" but this caravan and trailer set could still prove useful, as a home away from home, a second living space or, as its owner hoped, an art gallery for Kiwis around the country.

The home of the Real Art Roadshow, a roving gallery that's travelled New Zealand for the last decade, was on offer to interested buyers this year.

Although owner, artist and philanthropist Fiona Campbell, 45, had auctioned off the artistic collection the truck and trailer housed, she'd wanted a fellow art-lover to fill it with a new display.

It was her dream to see someone take on the project.

Unfortunately no one has put up their hand to take it on so Campbell has listed the mobile gallery as a package with Penske Dealership for an asking price of $260,000.

Idyllic island property - comes with graveyard

760 Mabey Rd

On a stretch along the Great Barrier Island coast is a piece of farmland up for the taking - complete with the graveyard of a number of those who died in the country's third-largest marine disaster off our shore - the sinking of the SS Wairarapa.

The Mabey family, who has owned it for just two years shy of century, hoped whoever takes on the 195ha will enjoy it as much as they have.

Described as an island paradise made up of "virgin farmland" complete with two beaches, it is also home to a graveyard that sits on a northern section of the main beach.

With an asking price of $5.9m, the land which is listed with Bayleys is not cheap - but provides an invaluable view of some of New Zealand's natural beauties.