A $6 million Remuera penthouse could break records as the country's most expensive apartment sale.
The top-floor apartment, in a set of four boutique flats at 454 Remuera Rd, is about to go on the market.
Designed by Sumich Chaplin Architects - who have also designed a Whangaparaoa home for Oracle Team USA's Russell Coutts - the 343sq m home has extensive views towards the Hauraki Gulf and three bedrooms, three bathrooms, two living rooms and extensive decking.
It sits within the zone for Auckland Grammar, Epsom Girls Grammar and Remuera Intermediate.
Real estate agent Graham Wall, who specialises in high-end city sales, said the property had a valuation of $5.54 million, but that was set in 2011, and he expected the flat to sell for more than $6 million.
A handful of apartments have had asking prices of more, but have not sold for the marketed price, such as property developer David Henderson's $10 million pad above the Hilton Hotel on Princes Wharf.
The penthouse owner is an elderly woman who has moved into a retirement home. She bought the property off the plans in 2006, as did the other three sets of residents.
Neighbours include an Epsom bone doctor, a Remuera eye surgeon and the owner of a venture capital and private equity firm.
Mr Wall, who handled New Zealand's biggest house sale last year - the $39 million Hotchin property on Paritai Drive - said he expected a lot of interest, mainly from Remuera residents looking to downsize.
Such pads are "very unique, there's not many of them around because no one's building them. It's hard to make money selling luxury apartments".
"It's a perfect location, it's right opposite the library and you can stroll up the road to get your coffee."
Prices in Remuera have shot up over the past few years with a median of $1,025,500.
Figures from Auckland's biggest real estate agency released yesterday showed the city had a residential median price of $629,000 in December - a 14.25 per cent increase on the previous year ($550,500).
"The year ended with lack of choice again becoming an issue," said Barfoot & Thompson managing director Peter Thompson.
"These figures tell a compelling story about the strength of the Auckland housing market, an improving economy, and people's belief that residential property continues to represent a dependable medium- to long-term investment.
"With listings being so restricted, and buyer demand so high, it suggests that as we enter the New Year, the Auckland real estate market will experience a strong first quarter."
• Former rich-lister and property developer David Henderson's $10 million pad on the top level of Shed 21, above the Hilton Hotel at Princes Wharf, has been for sale on and off for the past few years. At 880sq m with a wine cellar, two lifts and a heated swimming pool, it is said to be the country's largest and most expensive apartment.
• The top-level apartment of Shed 24 at Princes Wharf sold for $5.5 million in 2008 to an American buyer.
• The penthouse apartment in Takapuna's 19-floor The Sentinel sold for $5.2 million in 2010. It was at the time thought to be the most expensive apartment sale. It now has a valuation of $7.5 million.
• A consortium of Aucklanders are building what could be the country's most expensive set of boutique apartments for themselves, worth $4 million each. The waterfront low-rise in Herne Bay features four single-level units with two bedrooms and a study.
• IT king Charles Shrimpton sold his penthouse in the country's tallest apartment building, Metropolis in central Auckland, as an empty shell in 2011 for $3.45 million.
• He sold the two renovated sub-penthouses last year for about $3 million each.
• A penthouse in the Stamford Plaza building in central Auckland has a valuation of $3.06 million.
• A penthouse in the White Heron complex in Parnell is valued at $3 million.