The record for the most expensive apartment sold in New Zealand has been shattered following an eye-watering $9.25m sale of a yet-to-be-built Parnell penthouse.

The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) confirmed to the Herald that the recently sold Churton St pad was a record price for a New Zealand apartment, eclipsing the previous benchmark sale in Remuera of $8.7m in 2017.

"Recent sales at the Edition apartment complex in Parnell of $9.25m and $8.5m are record prices for Auckland apartments," REINZ chief executive Bindi Norwell said.

The complex was quipped to be a "bold, contemporary, confident piece of architecture" nestled in the heart of Parnell.

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LEP Construction group manager Russell Thompson said the two top-floor apartments had sold for $9.25m and $8.5m, meaning the development had reached its intended investment threshold with completion expected in March 2021.

The complex, designed by Monk Mackenzie, would offer views over the Auckland Harbour, Thompson said.

The 334sq m penthouse, purchased by unnamed New Zealanders, would have three bedrooms and three bathrooms. It came with six stacked carparks, a media room, two lifts, a scullery and winter garden.

Every apartment in the complex, designed by Monk Mackenzie, has an outdoor patio. But some have two, or an additional garden space. Photo / Supplied
Every apartment in the complex, designed by Monk Mackenzie, has an outdoor patio. But some have two, or an additional garden space. Photo / Supplied

Norwell said apartments at the luxury end of the market were continuing to prove extremely popular with high-end buyers as they looked to buy properties that were "architecturally designed with lots of natural light and have amazing views".

"It goes without saying that these top-end apartments achieve premium prices where they are in or close to the CBD, have good public transport options, have excellent access to motorways and of course are nearby to green spaces and multiple amenities such as bars, cafes and theatres."

The Parnell development comprises 18 two, three or four-bedroom apartments "with sophisticated spaces and a sense of generosity not usually found in Auckland apartments".

The cantilevered building will feature a facade of Italian glass brick and the interiors are comprised of a luxurious material palette, Thompson said.

Floor-to-ceiling windows emphasise the high stud and views of the city, Parnell and Auckland harbour.


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Luxury real estate agent Michael Boulgaris said he was not at all surprised at the record-setting sale.

Boulgaris said he sold the four most expensive apartments in Queenstown's Waterfront 10 years ago.

Then, the apartments were selling for $15,000 per sq m. Now, he said, some were going for $25,000 to $30,000 per sq m.

"The reason people pay these high prices is that they are securing the view. In the future it will not be uncommon for places to be sold in excess of $30,000 per square metre for new complexes."

Contrary to popular belief it was not foreign buyers or international billionaires looking for a safe haven in New Zealand buying up our luxury property, but New Zealanders returning home, Boulgaris said.

They were typically cashed up expatriates that were used to apartment living overseas.

Only eight spaces remain in the boutique apartment complex, and construction is expected to be completed by March 2021. Photo / Supplied.
Only eight spaces remain in the boutique apartment complex, and construction is expected to be completed by March 2021. Photo / Supplied.

"A lot of these wealthy people have a Waiheke retreat, a Queenstown retreat, a Fiji retreat and a Rotorua retreat.

" The buyers are in the top 5 per cent income earners."

There were murmurs of an even bigger deal being made in the supercity, however.

New Zealand businessman and White House aide Chris Liddell reportedly paid a deposit for the $15m penthouse apartment in The International, the ex-Fonterra headquarters at 9 Princes St, being converted into residential use.

Developer Gary Groves told the Herald earlier this year the penthouse had sold, but neither he nor Liddell had confirmed the deal.

Meanwhile, a two-level "super penthouse" is currently being marketed for $35m, a record asking price for a New Zealand apartment, according to its salesman.

The apartment is in the 57-level $300m Pacifica rising in Auckland's CBD and Gavin Lloyd, CBRE national residential projects director, said a $3.5m deposit was sought.

Real estate agent Michael Boulgaris says it is mostly expatriate Kiwi's that purchase high-end apartments, not foreign buyers. Photo / Supplied
Real estate agent Michael Boulgaris says it is mostly expatriate Kiwi's that purchase high-end apartments, not foreign buyers. Photo / Supplied

Sotheby's NZ real estate agent Ross Hawkins is marketing the Edition properties and said the two penthouse sales had set a new benchmark price.

"The architectural design, quality of the interior fit out and the stunning views on offer in Edition have been determining factors in setting these new benchmarks.

Hawkins said he and fellow real estate agent Jason Gaddes, who were both selling the property, had seen great demands from empty nesters and the baby boomer market for quality and spacious apartments.

"Many of our buyers to date are coming out of larger family homes and still require the design and function of an architectural home.

"Buyers in this demographic are moving into a change in lifestyle, freeing up more time to travel and spend in their lifestyle properties."

Most expensive apartments sold in New Zealand

1. Churton St, Parnell, Auckland - Sold for $9.25m in August 2018.

2. Remuera Rd, Remuera, Auckland - Sold for $8.7m in May 2017.

3. Courthouse Lane, Metropolis apartment tower, Auckland central - Sold for $7.85m in May 2014.

4. Sentinal Rd, Herne Bay, Auckland - Sold for $7.05m in December 2002.

5. Northcroft Street, Sentinel Tower, Takapuna, Auckland - Sold for $7m in April 2016.

Most expensive residential properties sold in New Zealand

1. Huriaro Place, Orakei, Auckland - Sold for $39m in December 2013.

2. Cremorne St, Herne Bay, Auckland - Sold for $27.5m in March 2018.

3. Burwood Cres, Remuera, Auckland - Sold for $18.6m in February 2017.

4. Burwood Cres, Remuera, Auckland - Sold for $18m in March 2016.

5. Selwyn Ave, Mission Bay, Auckland - Sold for $15m in March 2016.