America's Cup overseas syndicate members have already begun moving on Auckland property for the 2021 challenge, with one $7 million Herne Bay sale already settled and another under negotiation even though the event is still three years away.
Ollie Wall, of Graham Wall Real Estate, said a participant in the 36th challenge had just bought the property which has extensive waterfront views in New Zealand's most expensive suburb.
The agency team is also working on other deals, having attended four consecutive America's Cups to make connections.
"We've just sold one house to a Kiwi in a syndicate and he'll move back here," Ollie Wall said. "A large percentage of the high-end properties we sell are to Kiwis moving home. America's Cup is full of Kiwis, so we expect a spike in this market."
Graham Wall said there was a "serious shopping list of houses" the syndicates wanted to rent or buy.
"We're negotiating another for a different syndicate. All three syndicates have asked us to source homes for them. I've guaranteed they'll make money on the deals if they buy now and hold them for three years. It's going to be very hard to get a beautiful home to stay in here if they leave it too long."
Andrew Wall said the agency had "the best houses in the best positions, looking down the harbour" and he named four such places, expected to sell for under $20m each.
Sara Paesani, of Italy's Luna Rossa Challenge, confirmed the entity was already collecting information and examining proposals about Auckland properties, "matching those with details we are receiving from the America's Cup organisation about locations and all related facilities".
However, it was too early to be talking about specifics, she said.
"Most of the team members will probably move to New Zealand in the second half of 2020 but actually we don't know exactly the timing and numbers," she said.
Emirates Team New Zealand has accepted challenges from the first three sides. Host the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron announced entries from Italy's Luna Rossa, the New York Yacht Club's American Magic and Sir Ben Ainslie's Ineos Team UK.
A fourth challenger is expected, with interest from Italian team Columbus 2021. Each of the challengers is expected to send between 100 and 200 people, many for more than a year. They would all need Auckland homes, said Graham Wall.
"You can't rent the type of top-end properties they'll want or, if you could, it would cost $10,000 a week to $20,000 a week. So they're considering buying and they know how expensive the market is here. But they could be sailing here for a couple of years before the racing starts so they'll need good homes," he said.
St Heliers, Kohimarama, Herne Bay, Devonport, Belmont, Takapuna and Mission Bay were the most popular: "It must have water views."
But commercial premises were also needed: "There's no point in sponsoring a huge team and not having a base to work from. These teams will need offices for dozens of people," Wall predicted.
Dean Humphries, Colliers International's national hotels director, said about 2000 new Auckland hotel rooms would be built by the time the races starts, alleviating much of the demand for tourist accommodation.
John Hastings, Premium Real Estate's chief operating officer, said syndicate members had made "light, tentative" approaches but no deals had been settled by his agency yet. Landlords were interested to gauge potential rents, he said.
Racing will be from March 6-21, expected to start between 4pm and 6pm New Zealand time across the wider Hauraki Gulf, running south along the North Shore beaches around North Head encompassing the inner Waitemata Harbour up to the Harbour Bridge and downtown Auckland, across the city's eastern suburbs and out the Tamaki Strait between Waiheke Island and Maraetai.
Last week the Environment Court granted consent for the Auckland waterfront village, paving the way for Team New Zealand to move into the Viaduct Events Centre and begin preparations for its America's Cup defence.
Between them, the Auckland Council and the Government are spending $212 million on construction and running costs for the Cup - $114m from taxpayers and $98.5m from ratepayers.
On top of this, the council is pouring in $55m of new money and bringing forward $53m of expenditure on a raft of projects to spruce up the waterfront for the Cup and Apec conference in 2021.
Graham Wall said foreigners wanting to buy here faced challenges due to the new property laws, but the challengers' teams had Kiwis in them.
Those who has made inquiries wanted to be close to the CBD and had already asked about the regularity and dependibility of Fuller's Devonport-Downtown ferry service.
The Walls picked four properties that might fit syndicate members' needs because they all had waterfront views and were in the most desirable suburbs.
• 45 Cliff Rd, St Heliers, which might fetch around $19m
• 3 Hanene St, St Heliers, which might go for $15m
• 44 Paritai Dr, Orakei, in the $11m league
• 25 London St, Herne Bay, which could fetch around $8m