Embattled Hanover boss Mark Hotchin is selling properties as construction of his $30 million home on Paritai Drive continues.

He is understood to have sold a home on Waiheke Island at auction in March for $835,000. He paid $1.6m for it in 2005.

The home is one of four buffer properties around Hotchin's $13.8m Boatshed Bay holiday home near Palm Beach. Plans have been lodged with the Auckland City Council to bowl the holiday home to build an 11-bedroom mansion.

One of the three remaining properties, a one-bedroom home, is on the market for $850,000.

The other two plots are bare land. It is not known if Hotchin plans to sell those.

Hotchin was also reported last week to have sold his luxury Parnell house for $4m, $1.7m more than he paid for it in 1999.

Residents living near the Waiheke house that has sold, and the other one up for sale, say they were only ever used as guesthouses.

"I can't really imagine that sort of wealth," said one. "He spends millions of dollars buying homes next to his mansion so his friends can stay in them when they visit."

But another resident said in the past five years they had rarely seen anyone at either property. "He is barely ever back on the island and he brings guests even less."

The resident believed the large loss on the house sale was because of changes to the land title, which stopped shared access of the mansion's driveway.

The buyer and previous owner of Hotchin's expensive holiday home, Peter Stretton, refused to comment.

Matthew Smith, Hotchin's real estate agent, also refused to comment.

Other agents on the island were surprised to hear Hotchin was selling the properties in a difficult market.

"It is not a great time right now, really," said Paul Brisbane from Waiheke Real Estate.

"The past six to seven weeks have been slow. There are buyers out there but a lot of them are just waiting for opportunities.

"I have no idea why he is selling up. Who knows with people with that much money? Maybe it just doesn't mean that much for him to make a loss like that," he said.

Meanwhile, work continues on Hotchin's massive Paritai Drive mansion.

It sprawls across multiple sections looking across the Hauraki Gulf to Rangitoto Island.

Inside, Hotchin can look forward to an internal lift, home theatre - and possibly the largest bathroom in Auckland.

One observer said a huge walk-in shower could "fit about 10 people at once". There was, however, just one shower nozzle.

Neighbours said yesterday construction workers were at the property last week.

A lone worker was cutting tiles at the back entrance.

He told the Herald On Sunday he hadn't been on the job long and wasn't sure what stage everything was at.

Hotchin could not be contacted for comment. He is believed to be holidaying in the south of France after a recent stay in Hawaii.