Anne Gibson

Property editor of the NZ Herald

Land bought in 1995 for $890,000 - owner will sell for $112m

The 29ha of vacant land at 39 Flat Bush School Rd is close to Barry Curtis Park.
The 29ha of vacant land at 39 Flat Bush School Rd is close to Barry Curtis Park.

A land banking business with a big piece of residentially zoned real estate on Auckland's outskirts has made more than $6 million a year for almost two decades - doing nothing.

QV records shows Yi Huang Trading Company owns 39 Flat Bush School Rd, which it bought in 1995 for $890,000.

Now, this 29ha block is listed on the market for $112.6 million, promoted as "the land of opportunity, vacant but close to Barry Curtis Park".

Barfoot & Thompson real estate agent Charles Hsu said the owner might accept $80 million.

"They might drop the price. They understood the asking price is too high," he said of the business which was established by Taiwanese. The block could be subdivided into tiny 400sq m parcels, he said, but first services must be provided, including a road.

The sale has left developers fuming. They say land bankers are ruining the city and that the sale will be tax-free because the company has held the land for so long.

The property is being advertised on realestate.co.nz as New Zealand's most expensive piece of real estate, well ahead of millionaire Eric Watson's 37ha $10 million Westbury estate at Karaka.

Developers say Auckland Council officials have blamed them for building high-priced houses but they say land speculators took a bigger toll because they were inactive and reaped rich rewards for locking land away from being put to productive purposes. If it achieves the full asking price, then each year the company has held the land it made $6.2 million, they said, for doing nothing.

Mr Hsu said the same vendors also owned 21 Flat Bush School Rd, a 4.05ha block where $21 million is being sought but $16 million might be accepted.

Five big blocks of Flat Bush land are being advertised for sale, starting at $9.5 million.


Valuable dirt

• 39 Flat Bush School Rd, 29ha - $112.6m
• 125 Murphys Rd, Flat Bush, 113ha - $38m
• 21 Flat Bush School Rd, 4.05ha - $21m
• 63 Murphys Rd, 17.4ha - $12m
• 245 Murphys Rd, 4ha - $9.5m

Source: realestate.co.nz

- NZ Herald

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