A Takapuna waterfront mansion has sold for $28,888,000 during the winter, setting the record as the most expensive New Zealand house sale of 2017, according to CoreLogic NZ.
In a 'Med meets Pacific' theme, the sprawling Tuscan-style home with extensive tropical planting comes with its own gatehouse or separate guest house.
The grand home in a no-exit street is beside the public accessway to the beach and has stands of towering palm trees and a circular-style driveway with porte-cochure or grand hotel-style entrance way.
It is barred from public entrance with a sturdy double wrought iron gate and has its own tennis court, all flanked by decades-old pohutakawa trees.
The two-level mansion in half-H layout now stands empty, waiting for the buyer to move in. A worker said it had been bought by an Asian businessman who lives in New Zealand and who plans to make the mansion his family home. A prominent real estate agent confirmed an Asian man had purchased the home.
Nick Goodall, CoreLogic's head of research, said the sale was by far the most expensive and outstripped all other deals this year.
"The property at 19 O'Neills Ave sold on July 4 for $28.9m, when it had a capital value of $15.4m," he said.
That was in reference to its 2014 valuation, before Auckland Council released revaluations in November. The 2014 CV meant the property incurred annual rates of $40,634.43.
However, Lake View in Glenorchy near Queenstown is on the market for $33m and might sell before the end of the year, trumping Takapuna.
Quotable Value showed the O'Neills Ave luxury property spans three titles of almost a half-hectare between Milford and Takapuna, its manicured lawns lined by native trees and facing out to Rangitoto Island.
Property records reference the three titles just as 19, although the mansion is built over 21 and 23 O'Neills Ave as well. The substantial separate gatehouse stands near the gate, while the main residence overlooks the seafront. All up, the property sprawls across a generous 4396sq m in a city where a 200sq m site now takes a stand-alone house.
The same property hit the headlines in 2012 as the most expensive sale of that period. Then, Richlister and Sky Television founder Craig Heatley sold it to businessman Mark Stewart, son of Dame Adrienne Stewart and the late industrialist and manufacturer Sir Robertson Stewart.
Heatley had owned the property since 1991 when records showed he paid only $2.5m for it.
Stewart's family are entrepreneurs: Sir Robertson bought manufacturer PDL in 1957 as a clapped-out war munitions business, then built it into a large, electrical equipment manufacturer with annual revenues of $350 million, 2000 staff and 11 manufacturing facilities.
After going into the business straight from university and spending 20 years representing it in tough Asian and Middle Eastern markets, son Mark took over, then sold his family's stake to French company Schneider for $97 million in 2001, saying at the time it was "an offer we couldn't refuse''.
His businesses now trade under various titles including Masthead and Medusa. This year's NBR Rich List puts the Stewart fortune at $330m. There, Mark Stewart was said to control the family subsidiary that outlaid more than $5m late last year to support a rights issue by listed SeaDragon.