Television presenter Renee Wright has made hay while the Auckland housing market shines, selling her North Shore villa for a cool $3 million.
The beautifully renovated home in Bayswater recorded the street's highest ever sale price at its March 11 auction and one of the top prices anywhere in the suburb over the past year.
Featuring a swimming pool and expansive open plan living area, One News weather presenter Wright and construction-industry husband Charlie Waide undertook an "epic" extension on the home after paying $893,000 for it in 2014.
Together they grew it from a "tiny bungalow" to a four-bedroom villa, with the quality of their work leading to a major battle at auction between eight bidders, Bayleys selling agent Linda Simmons said.
Those buyers keen on the house included North Shore locals, a family from "across the bridge" in Ponsonby and even ex-pats calling from London and Sydney, willing to buy despite having never set foot in the home.
One returning ex-pat family kept calling Simmons from their room in an Auckland managed isolation facility.
"They literally came to see this house the day they got out," Simmons said.
The home's eventual $3.075m sale came as house prices continued to boom in February, despite changes to loan-to-value ratio rules making it harder for investors and those who already owned homes to access mortgages.
Auckland's median sales price soared to $1.1m, while national prices climbed to $780,000, Real Estate Institute figures showed.
Bayswater's median property value, meanwhile, hit $1.475m - a $305,000 jump in value since February 2020, according to data by analysts OneRoof and Valocity.
Yet while Bayswater was among affluent North Shore suburbs, selling agent Simmons said Wright's home achieved such a high price because it was one "out of the box" for the area.
She pinned it on the quality of the renovation.
She said while she didn't tell buyers that Waide - who is managing director of Waide Construction - was the home's owner, she did tell them the owner was with a big commercial building company.
"When you run a big construction company like Waide Construction, I guess you have access to the best of the best, and this was one renovation that was done to the max without any compromises," Simmons said.
Wright has also appeared in magazines showcasing the renovation and revealing how her love of fashion gave inspiration to the design of the home's interiors.
Simmons said the combination of the home's style and confidence in the quality of its work meant none of the eight auction bidders ordered building inspection reports to be done.
"That is quite unusual, especially with sight-unseen buyers, who normally do even more due diligence," she said. "But these buyers were adamant that they didn't need inspections."
The wide range of buyers also helped push the price high, Simmons said.
While North Shore locals might have been reluctant to pay a price much higher than other homes in the street, returning ex-pats were willing to spend big to get a foothold in the city and those from Ponsonby knew a similar quality home across the bridge would cost even more.
"I've never had an experience quite like that where it was so much about the quality of the home," Simmons said.