South claims NZ's first $1m suburb

Kelvin Heights in Queenstown is laying claim to the title of New Zealand's first million-dollar suburb.

The suburb, perched on the edge of Lake Wakatipu, is home to Queenstown's rich and famous, bathed in late-afternoon winter sun at this time of year and blessed with stunning views.

Quotable Value figures showed the average residential house value for Kelvin Heights was $1,022,000 at the last rateable assessment in September 2005.

Queenstown's QV rating was $908,000, Wanaka $597,000, Arrowtown $481,000, Sunshine Bay/Fernhill $563,000, Frankton (Shotover) $546,000 and Frankton Rd end $632,000.

The Herald on Sunday reported this week that several areas were vying to become the first collection of streets with a median house price greater than $1 million, including Northland's tourist port of Russell, Auckland's eastern suburbs, plus Mt Eden/Epsom and Devonport.

QV spokeswoman Rosie Paul, of Auckland, said median house price figures were not available for Kelvin Heights, as the sample size was too small. Only three of the 21 houses sold in the suburb since January fetched more than $1 million.

But councillor Rick Pettit, chairman of the Queenstown Lakes District Council's finance committee, believed the QV average figures showed Kelvin Heights had broken the barrier and become the first $1 million suburb.

"It's pretty indicative of where Queenstown is going in terms of value," he said.

Real Estate Institute of New Zealand spokesman Adrian Snow, of Queenstown, agreed the figures showed Kelvin Heights to be New Zealand's first $1 million suburb, although the QV figures did not necessarily indicate market value.

QV regional account manager Brendon Bodger, of Christchurch, said Kelvin Heights was a variable suburb, with high-end lakefront properties with views and sun dragging up those located further back, which did not enjoy the same advantages.

By comparison, properties in Auckland's suburb of Parnell derived value just for being "in Parnell".

- OTAGO DAILY TIMES

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