By Catherine Masters
The suburb that has racked up the most record-breaking sales in New Zealand isn't the country's most expensive, new research from OneRoof shows.
OneRoof and its data partner Valocity looked at the biggest property sales in each of the main cities over the past decade and found that Mount Maunganui in Tauranga, not Herne Bay in Auckland, had the biggest share.
In fact, just two streets in the popular beachside suburb laid claim to Tauranga's highest sales in the past eight years: Marine Parade and Oceanbeach Road.
Both had four record-breaking sales each. By contrast Cremorne Street, in Herne Bay, had just four of Auckland's highest sales in the past decade.
However, Auckland had the biggest share of big sales nationwide: it recorded the biggest single property sale in all but one of the last 10 years. There was a big difference in the sale prices too. Tauranga's highest sales were all under $10 million; Auckland's highest sales by contrast, ranged between $9 million and $39 million.
Of the major metros, only Auckland and Queenstown broke the $10 million mark.
OneRoof editor Owen Vaughan said: "The research shows the luxury market has not strayed from favoured waterfront suburbs such as Herne Bay, Waiheke Island and Remuera in Auckland, Mount Maunganui in Tauranga, Oriental Parade in Wellington, while Queenstown Lakes and surrounds also remains popular for those with really deep pockets.
"Mount Maunganui's relatively high share of big sales is due to the suburb's prime location and the influx of Auckland money during the boom years, which pushed prices up considerably."
Tauranga's highest sale in the last ten years was $6.1 million, for a four-level mansion on Marine Parade in 2011. The house was bought by multi-millionaire Gareth Morgan. The highest sale price in Auckland - and in New Zealand - was $39 million, for Mark Hotchin's seven-bed mansion on Paritai Drive in Orakei in 2013.
The biggest sale price so far this year is the $12 million paid by multi-millionaire Carmel Fisher for a cliff-top property at Omaha Block Access Road at Ti Point.
The biggest sale in Christchurch was in 2018, when a heritage at Glandovey Rd, Fendalton, fetched $6.825 million. A house in Roseneath was Wellington's biggest sale - fetching $5.6 million in 2013. Dunedin was the cheapest place to buy a high-end property, with its biggest sales ranging between $1.4 million and $2 million, less than median value of all properties in Auckland's Herne Bay.
The OneRoof data showed that Auckland had the biggest share of high-end properties. It has 5866 properties homes with CVs of more than $10 million and another 14,141 with CVs of between $3 million and $10 million. Christchurch has next biggest share, sporting 615 properties with a rating valuation of more $10 million.
Auckland has seen a flurry of new luxury homes in the last 10 years, with 18 new-builds in the city recording CVs of $15 million-plus, most of them in Remuera, Herne Bay and Kohimarama. The most expensive new build is 11 Clifton Road, Hauraki, which has a CV of $23.95 million.
James Wilson, director of valuation at Valocity, said: "The number of luxury new build properties constructed since 2010 show the top end luxury market is healthy but is not really moving around - the money is still concentrated in Auckland and Queenstown."
He added; "At the high end of the market, we still see the market constructing these dwellings in locations which warrant such property stock , i.e. central Auckland suburbs such as Herne Bay where the land values support such luxury properties"
"When the price bracket drops to between $5,000,000 – $10,000,000, we begin to see such property stock spread across the country as land values support a lower value level"
New OneRoof data, to be published in Monday's New Zealand Herald, shows Herne Bay is still New Zealand's most expensive urban suburb, although Auckland fringe suburbs Whitford and Okura, due to recent lifestyle block sales, were the most expensive suburbs overall.
But OneRoof's latest suburb valuations shows Herne Bay's house price prices have suffered in the last year, with the median value dropping eight percent.
The data shows the North Shore is the most expensive part of the city to buy property, but the slowdown is putting the squeeze on house prices there too, with the median value for the TA dropping 2.8 percent year on year.
Vaughan said: "The foreign buyer ban has dented the top end of the market. Values in Auckland's North Shore have fallen back, and while other parts of the city are feeling the effects of slowdown, they have more first-home buyer stock, which is where the bulk activity in the market is at the moment.
"As concerning as these figures seem, they have to be seen in the context of the huge price gains seen in Auckland over the last decade, where values have risen 85 percent."
The defining feature of luxury properties, for Auckland at least, is a water view. Real estate agent Michael Boulgaris, who markets high-end properties in the city, says 10 years ago the mega wealthy wanted tennis courts but now it's all about the outlook over the Waitemata Harbour.
Multiple lavish entertaining areas are also a must. "Generally, there'd be three entertaining areas, if not four. There'd be informal rooms, most definitely a media room and probably a gymnasium," he says.
And while you'd be right in thinking a luxury home these days includes an infinity pool, Boulgaris says sometimes one pool is not enough.
"I looked at a home last week that has two pools. It has a big family pool and then a lap pool. The owner said to me what was the point of spending money on one pool when you could build two."