New Zealand's most expensive house for sale, valued last year at $24 million, has been sold, according to an Auckland real estate agent.
Graham Wall and Ollie Wall of Ponsonby's Graham Wall Real Estate called for tenders closing on Thursday last week and today Graham Wall announced the sale of the Waiheke Island vineyard and two-level white colonial-style home.
"After years of coming and going, there's finally been a successful sale of the famous Te Rere Cove," Wall said this morning.
David Parkinson and wife Dee Crawford developed the estate at 205 and 205a Church Bay Rd, Church Bay near Oneroa and tried unsuccessfully for seven years to sell it.
An auction late last year failed, along with seven years of listing the place with the Walls, Ray White, Sotheby's Realty, Kellands, Bayleys and Barfoot & Thompson.
So last month, the vendors struck a new deal: list exclusively with the Walls, separate the property into two titles to be sold separately, call for tenders to put the pressure on, give people only a month to make up their minds and remove the listing from every other agents' books.
Narrowing choices like that appears to have worked, with a 10 per cent deposit now paid and settlement imminent.
"This is the first time the 8.8ha main house title has been offered separately from the adjoining 5ha vacant site," Wall said last month. "The owner has made it very clear that the property will sell on or before June 20. There will be no messing around after the tender date. Initial interest has been from Kiwi families wanting to own Waiheke's most prestigious home and tourism or luxury lodge operators."
Wall would not disclose the price today but when the place was auctioned on October 19 last year, bidding reached $18.5m before it was passed in. So the buyer may have paid between $18.5m and last year's $24m valuation.
Wall said today: "It's been sold to a passport-holding New Zealander. Will they live there? We're not quite sure but it's a lot of money for a house if you're not going to live there."
The air-conditioned 1800sq m home has six bedrooms, seven bathrooms, an indoor pool with theatre, vineyard, wine cellar, French oak interiors and limestone seashell tiles and granite, with decor styled by interior designer Anna Desbonnets.
The ground floor has family living, designer kitchen, art gallery, alfresco dining area and conservatory. A self-contained wing has four bedrooms, a kitchenette/lounge and home theatre/media room.
Upstairs in the main house is a master bedroom suite with balcony, two en suites and dressing rooms, kitchenette and a concealed library/TV snug.
A six-car garage, outdoor bar which can be wheeled away to clear a helicopter landing pad, $40,000 mosaic shower floor and wine cellar capable of holding more than 1000 bottles are other features.
The property was first advertised for sale around June 2012 but Parkinson said then he would not mind too much if there was not a quick sale as he and the family were enjoying the place they had built.
The home was designed in an early New Zealand colonial style by Waiheke architectural designer Bryce Ardern. Parkinson said in 2011 that it was partly inspired by Kauri Cliffs, developed by American billionaire philanthropists Julian and the late Josie Robertson.