Queenstown Lakes property values pass $2 million average for the first time

Feb 04, 2024

Data released by property valuation company Valocity and reported by NZME's One Roof shows that Queenstown Lakes district recorded value growth of 4% quarter-on-quarter, and 6.3% year-on-year.

The average property value for the local authority has cracked $2 million and is $75,000 above its previous post-Covid peak.

In comparison, Auckland’s average property value is only $1.324m, with just a 0.2% quarter on quarter change. This puts the Queenstown and Wānaka markets $700,000 above the Auckland average.

One Roof reports a flurry of high-profile sales at the end of the year in Queenstown-Lakes on the back of strong buyer interest, both locally and from overseas, has cemented the area’s reputation as New Zealand’s most expensive housing market.

Valocity senior research analyst Wayne Shum said Queenstown-Lakes was blitzing everywhere else. He thinks people went down for the summer, loved it and have been buying and buying, with demand outpacing supply.

Aside from apartments there are not a lot of small houses and the average sale price reflects Queenstown and surrounds is largely a rich person’s market.

“It definitely is. The average property value is $2m now. It’s the first one to step over $2m.”

Auckland has some suburbs with higher average values, such as pricey Herne Bay and Remuera, but those are suburbs, not districts, he said.

Some Queenstown-Lakes suburbs are showing average property values well over $2m.

One Roof reports Kelvin Heights is $2.8m, Lake Hayes is $2.574m and Arrowtown is $2.548m – although if you took out the multi-million dollar spends on properties at Millbrook, the nearby luxury golf and mountain retreat, Arrowtown’s average would fall, said Richard Newman, owner and manager of Bayleys Arrowtown, adding that the town’s average sale price is more like $1.85m.

“Millbrook is a microclimate of its own. A minimum sale in there is probably $4m or $5m.”

Newman said Queenstown-Lakes was light on listings and had built-up buyer demand. One of his agent’s listings, a four-bedroom home at 7 Eastwood Lane, in Lower Shotover, highlights the price difference in the middle of the market: the property has an asking price of $3.1m, quite a step up for most Kiwi buyers.

“When you’ve got the demand and you haven’t got the supply the prices go up, and that’s the problem in Queenstown and especially Arrowtown.”

Arrowtown, like Queenstown, is seeing a lot of demand from Aucklanders looking for a nice house or a lock-and-leave property so they can commute back and forth to Auckland.

A lot of people do that now, changing the culture of Arrowtown from a small Alpine village to a more lock-and-leave executive residence town, Newman said.

“Families are being pushed out because it’s so dear and there’s nowhere to live.”

Along with Aucklanders, there are a number of Australians from Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne buying.

“We’ve 10 to 13 flights a day from Australia, it’s crazy.”

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