The sale of Waiheke clifftop property Te Kohunga/The Nest has set a national record for the year so far but a mysterious intruder, unknown to the new owner, bedded down there before he arrived.
A trust connected to Barry Colman, former publisher of the National Business Review, paid $9m for the Oneroa house which has steps to a secluded beachfront cove.
But Kati and Barry Colman have not been able to shift in, as the month-long lockdown occurred just as the furniture was set to arrive.
Sales figures from OneRoof and its data partner Valocity from September 2019 showed the highest-priced New Zealand sale was on January 30 when the Newton Rd place at Oneroa sold for $9 million.
Colman acknowledge the trust's purchase and price but said he did not realise that was the national record - and he said things turned strange for him just this week.
"I still haven't slept in it - but a tramp has. He made himself at home for a few days until the neighbours discovered we were not there," Colman said.
"The property manager investigated [on Wednesday] and the guy fled out a window. The cops arrived and called in the police helicopter. The property has a stairway down its cliff front and they suspected he was hiding down there. They couldn't find him, so he's still on the loose," Colman said.
Kellands Real Estate advertised the house of the year finalist as having been designed by architect Wendy Shacklock and built by Kevin Glamuzina.
"The clifftop home on Waiheke's sought-after northern side offers a rare opportunity for those looking for a truly exquisite home," that agency said.
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The flat drive-on waterfront site has its own water bore. The house has three bedrooms and two bathrooms, riparian rights giving title to the water's edge, wide frontage and steps to the beach, a chef's kitchen, butler's pantry, separate laundry, choice of outdoor entertaining areas, is fully landscaped with a flat lawn and potager vegetable garden, underfloor heating and a log burner.
Auckland Council lists it as being valued at $5.8m three years ago when real estate values were last assessed.
Police said because of privacy reasons in general they could not respond to requests which sought to confirm whether a specific individual had laid a complaint.
Owen Vaughan, editor of NZME-owned property listing site OneRoof.co.nz, said sales figures from OneRoof and its data partner Valocity showed an appetite for high-end properties in the six months from September and chimed with agent sentiment that momentum had been returning to the top-end in regions such as Auckland.
But the spread of the coronavirus had brought uncertainty back to the market, Vaughan said.