PHOTO: Queenstown, New Zealand. FILE

Earlier this year, a sprawling estate exceeding 15 hectares in Queenstown changed hands for a staggering sum of over $40 million, setting a new record as the most expensive property ever sold in the country.

OneRoof has confirmed the sale of this remarkable property through the agent who facilitated the transaction, but due to confidentiality agreements and privacy concerns, the precise location of the property remains undisclosed.

Hamish Walker, a prominent real estate agent in Queenstown associated with Walker and Co Realty, chose not to disclose the identities of the buyer and seller involved in the deal. In his words, “I prefer to keep these sales under the radar, which is why people use my company.”

It’s worth noting that the sale is not expected to finalize for some time, and there is potential for a portion of the land to be subdivided.

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This sale surpasses the previous record of $38.5 million, which was established in 2013 for the former Hotchin mansion on Huriaro Place in Auckland’s Orakei. This record had remained unchallenged for a decade, with only one other residence, the Coatesville mansion owned by the ZURU Toys billionaires, coming close with a sale price of $32.5 million in 2016.

According to Walker, the $40 million-plus luxury estate is just one of several prestigious properties he has sold in the past 18 months, including one valued at $15 million. He mentioned that buyers from Singapore have shown significant interest in Queenstown, seeking refuge from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Walker’s clients, some of whom are high-profile individuals, often request his assistance with various matters beyond real estate, such as buying cars, golf clubs, or hiking gear to enhance their experience in Queenstown.

While Walker doesn’t anticipate another $40 million-plus deal in his territory in the near future, he believes there will likely be more sales in the upper price range.

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He doesn’t expect National’s proposed changes to foreign buyers’ rules to lead to a flood of buyers, especially in the lower price brackets. Nonetheless, he mentioned that he had the opportunity to sell a property to Americans for over $20 million at the end of 2022.

Big-ticket sales like these often take time to materialize, with some transactions spanning months or even years. Walker is currently working on several off-market sales, some of which exceed $15 million. These properties may enter the open market if they don’t sell privately in the coming months.

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Despite the slowdown in the luxury market nationwide in 2023, with significantly fewer sales of $5 million and above compared to previous years, a notable sale was a glass and steel mansion on Burwood Crescent in Remuera, Auckland, which was marketed by Graham Wall and sold for $20.6 million.