Anne Gibson

Anne Gibson is the Property editor of the NZ Herald

$1m 'entry level' house sign of times

10 Sunny Brae Crescent will probably sell for more than $1 million. Photo / Richard Robinson
10 Sunny Brae Crescent will probably sell for more than $1 million. Photo / Richard Robinson

A state house is being marketed as an "entry level property" - despite a probable price tag of $1 million.

The real estate agent says the term refers to the starting price for a home in Westmere, rather than what first time buyers should be paying in Auckland.

But a valuer in the area said entry-level properties started at about $700,000.

The listing for 10 Sunny Brae Crescent was put on Trade Me yesterday morning and is the first house that comes up when the key words "entry level" are typed in the search bar for Auckland. Almost 700 people had viewed the advertisement by 5.30pm.

It did not give the council valuation of $900,000, made in July last year. Experts say the property is likely to go for more than $1 million.

"This Westmere entry-level property is almost an extinct breed, but not quite," the advertisement says. "This attractive and comfortable 1920s, three bedroom bungalow has everything going for it."

The house sits on 408sq m and includes wooden floors, box bay windows and ornate ceilings. It's close to Westmere School and Western Springs College.

The agent, John Erceg of Unlimited Potential Herne Bay, told the Herald that first home buyers would not necessarily be drawn to the house.

"It's entry level into the suburb, rather than the housing market," he said, citing people who might have sold around Pt Chevalier or Kingsland and want to be that much closer to the city centre. He described the house as a do-up.

The first open home will be held on Sunday and the house is to be auctioned on August 15.

Property commentator Alistair Helm, of realestate.co.nz, said agents needed to present all the information accurately.

"When you put the numbers together, you have to question the wording," he said. "We want to see agents act professionally."

A Housing New Zealand spokesman said the house was put on the market after the tenant died.

"We leave it to the agent's experience and expertise as to how the property is advertised but do provide some guidelines to ensure properties are appropriately marketed. The agent was responsible for this listing but note that it is described as entry level for Westmere."

The lowest recent sale in Westmere was a derelict two-bedroom, 1920s bungalow on 468sq m at 88 West End Rd which went for $741,000 in April. Another on the same road, a 1950s, two-bedroom brick home on 507sq m at number 74, sold for $835,000.

"It's a time where there's not a huge amount of listings and good, steady buyer demand," valuer Ross McCabe said.

- NZ Herald

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