The buyer of the most expensive house sold in New Zealand this year can be revealed. Anne Gibson reports.
An Auckland financier has bought the highest-priced house listed for sale this year in New Zealand — a palatial retreat with a vineyard on Waiheke Island.
Martyn Reesby, whose business sources around $1 billion in annual property funds, bought Te Rere Cove from David Parkinson and Dee Crawford, who established the property.
The multi-million deal settled yesterday.
"I have bought the house as a future family home, an inter-generational place," Reesby said, referring to his wife and their three sons aged 24, 18 and 17.
"We are looking forward to being part of the Waiheke community and increasing wine production."
The family live in Victoria Ave, Remuera and Reesby, founder and principal of Princes Wharf-headquartered Reesby & Company, said they needed to retain that home as their main residence while their youngest son was still at school.
"We will sell that in due course, but in the meantime, we'll spend some weekends and the summer at the new place."
Te Rere Cove, on Church Bay Rd, had been on the market for seven years before father and son agents Graham and Ollie Wall put two titles up for tender separately in a deal closing on June 20.
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Four days later they announced the sale of one title, covering the two-level white colonial-style home and vineyard.
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Reesby this week said he had bought the house, all wine-making facilities and part of the vineyard on an 8.8ha title. He had not bought the neighbouring 5ha, planted in pinot gris.
"There's no point, in my view. "The existing owner has retained the other block."
The 1800sq m air-conditioned homestead has six bedrooms, seven bathrooms, an indoor pool with theatre, vineyard, wine cellar, French oak interiors and limestone seashell tiles and granite, with decor styled by interior designer Anna Desbonnets.
The ground floor has family living, designer kitchen, art gallery, alfresco dining area and conservatory. A self-contained wing has four bedrooms, a kitchenette/lounge and home theatre/media room.
Upstairs in the main house is a master bedroom suite with balcony, two en suites and dressing rooms, kitchenette and a concealed library/TV snug.
The home was designed in an early New Zealand colonial style by Waiheke architectural designer Bryce Ardern. Former owner Parkinson said in 2011 that it was partly inspired by the lodge at Kauri Cliffs, developed by American billionaire philanthropists Julian and the late Josie Robertson.
A six-car garage, outdoor bar which can be wheeled away to create a helicopter landing pad, $40,000 mosaic shower floor and 1000-bottle wine cellar are other features.
Reesby said the vineyard produced a "fabulous Syrah which I have drunk and enjoyed for a long time. I would like to increase wine production over a period of time by planting more vines, probably Syrah. That's what's popular on Waiheke".
The selling price was not available, but it's likely to be above the $10 million mark.
Before the titles were put up for sale separately, they passed in at auction last year when bidding reached $18.5m. Combined, the titles were valued at $24m.
New Zealand's most expensive house deal was the $39m transaction recorded in 2013 on a Paritai Drive home sold by interests associated with ex-Hanover Finance director Mark Hotchin to businessman Deyi Shi.
Reesby worked at Fay Richwhite & Co for nine years "sourcing finance for New Zealand corporates, property investors and property developers". He has a commerce degree from Auckland University.
Reesby & Company describes itself as "the largest commercial property finance brokers in New Zealand".
His business says it has "sourced more development finance for New Zealand developers than anyone else" and has "strong relationships with numerous private and institutional investors who have successfully invested over $1 billion of funds into non-bank property and corporate transactions for clients over the past 10 years".