The sale of Waiheke clifftop property Te Kohunga/The Nest has set a national record for the year so far but a mysterious intruder, unknown to the new owner, bedded down there before he arrived.
A trust connected to Barry Colman, former publisher of the National Business Review, paid $9m for the Oneroa house which has steps to a secluded beachfront cove.
But Kati and Barry Colman have not been able to shift in, as the month-long lockdown occurred just as the furniture was set to arrive.
Sales figures from OneRoof and its data partner Valocity from September 2019 showed the highest-priced New Zealand sale was on January 30 when the Newton Rd place at Oneroa sold for $9 million.
Colman acknowledge the trust's purchase and price but said he did not realise that was the national record - and he said things turned strange for him just this week.
"I still haven't slept in it - but a tramp has. He made himself at home for a few days until the neighbours discovered we were not there," Colman said.
"The property manager investigated [on Wednesday] and the guy fled out a window. The cops arrived and called in the police helicopter. The property has a stairway down its cliff front and they suspected he was hiding down there. They couldn't find him, so he's still on the loose," Colman said.
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Kellands Real Estate advertised the house of the year finalist as having been designed by architect Wendy Shacklock and built by Kevin Glamuzina.
"The clifftop home on Waiheke's sought-after northern side offers a rare opportunity for those looking for a truly exquisite home," that agency said.
The flat drive-on waterfront site has its own water bore. The house has three bedrooms and two bathrooms, riparian rights giving title to the water's edge, wide frontage and steps to the beach, a chef's kitchen, butler's pantry, separate laundry, choice of outdoor entertaining areas, is fully landscaped with a flat lawn and potager vegetable garden, underfloor heating and a log burner.
Auckland Council lists it as being valued at $5.8m three years ago when real estate values were last assessed.
Police said because of privacy reasons in general they could not respond to requests which sought to confirm whether a specific individual had laid a complaint.
Owen Vaughan, editor of NZME-owned property listing site OneRoof.co.nz, said sales figures from OneRoof and its data partner Valocity showed an appetite for high-end properties in the six months from September and chimed with agent sentiment that momentum had been returning to the top-end in regions such as Auckland.
But the spread of the coronavirus had brought uncertainty back to the market, Vaughan said.