A buyer’s dream of owning a lakefront bach in Rotorua came true after they won a hotly contested auction and paid $3.425 million for the property - almost two and a half times its RV.
The Bayleys auction for the 1930s cottage on the edge of Lake Rotoiti saw four of the eight registered bidders actively put their hands up last Thursday.
Bidding for the three-bedroom home, which sits on a 1153sq m section on State Highway 30, opened at $1.9m. It wasn’t long before auctioneer Stephen Shale announced the property was on the market at around $3.1m, but the price continued to climb, with three people bidding right until the end.
“It was pretty frantic,” Shale said of the auction, which attracted more than 60 bids.
The impressive sale price dwarfs the property’s 2020 RV of $1.43m. Shale said the intense auction proved there were still buyers out there looking for quality properties.
Bayleys Rotorua branch manager Beth Millard, who marketed the property, said “lawn to lake” properties were in high demand as they rarely come to market.
“There’s this ilk of buyers that have this dream that they want to be able to sit on their deck with their glass of wine and watch their kids or their grandkids playing in the lake.”
The absolute waterfront proposition came with a half-share in a jetty and access to a boat ramp, making it perfect for watersport lovers.
“If you are building brand-new, you’ve got to be 20 metres back off the water,” Millard said.
She added: “The people who buy on the lake have generally had some kind of affinity with it – they’ve holidayed there as children or they’ve got friends who have got a bach that they have stayed at. They’ve generally got some sort of association with the lake.”
The current owners had owned a property on Lake Rotoiti for 25 years and upgraded to the lakefront cottage 10 years ago, but with their adult children not using it, they had decided to sell.
This is often the way, with the tightly-held waterfront properties only coming on the market when there’s been a generational shift, Millard said.
However, an auction for another lakefront bach at 171 Tumoana Road in the exclusive Tumoana Bay, also on Lake Rotoiti, had a slower start, with just one person bidding on the property despite it previously being used as the set for German movie Affairs of the Heart.
The auction for the freehold bach - designed by well-known Hawke’s Bay architect Guy Natusch - opened at $2m. The auction paused at $2.8m and eventually passed in at $3m.
Millard said the “celebrity property”, which came with a one-third share in a jetty, boat shed and on-site boat launching, was a different offering than the Lake Rotoiti cottage and had a higher price point.
The property was located three kilometres along a metal forestry road off State Highway 30, but Millard said this added to the appeal.
“It gives it that real exclusiveness. It is real tucked-in - it’s almost like being off the grid, but you are not off the grid,” she said.
The 8021sq m property, in two titles, has two homes of a striking glass and stone design by Hulena Architects, a three-bedroom main house and a two-bedroom guest house, along with a pool, tennis court, shed for the toys and a boat shed and jetty on the lake.