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NZ Beach suburbs join million-dollar club

Property Here - Saturday, April 13, 2013

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Property values in St Heliers and Campbells Bay hit $1m mark
St Heliers has joined 13 other Auckland suburbs to hit the million-dollar average.
St Heliers has joined 13 other Auckland suburbs to hit the million-dollar average.

Two more Auckland suburbs have joined the million-dollar club where house values average $1 million and real estate agents say there is no sign of a let-up.

Campbells Bay on the North Shore and St Heliers in the eastern suburbs have joined 13 other Auckland suburbs to hit the million-dollar average, according to the latest figures by PropertyIQ.

The company, part-owned by QV, valued every house in each suburb based on recent sales of nearby comparable properties to find an average.

Barfoot & Thompson St Heliers manager David Kelly said he wasn't surprised to hear values in the suburb near Mission Bay and Kohimarama hit $1.011 million.

"It's the cost of land that's going up underneath and the building costs are going up."

The real estate office sold a property near the water on Maheke St, St Heliers - an old weatherboard house which needed renovating - for $1.425 million.

"If you take that away, the house, that's what your section is (worth).

That was an older style house that they're going to rent for a while, but they are going to take it off at some stage."

A subdivided section, on the corner of Goldie St and Polygon Rd, also close to the beach, recently sold for $1 million. It had been a full section with an old house on it.

The house was removed and the section split, with one half selling for $1 million.

The office sold 231 properties last year for $200 million, averaging $865,000 a sale.

"It is scary that a lot of that money is coming from overseas and it is just pushing the prices up."

Mr Kelly did not believe the surging Auckland property bubble would burst despite Finance Minister Bill English's pre-Budget speech warning the Government will act to curb rising house prices which represent a risk to New Zealand's economic recovery.

"There's a lot of buyers out there. I think he's got limited chances to alter the market, and how are they going to do it?"

Barfoot & Thompson agent Kelly Midwood said St Heliers and the eastern suburbs were sought-after locations where a typical 1960s brick house with four bedrooms and a block basement now commanded $1 million because of the land it sits on.

In 1993 the average house sale price in St Heliers was $230,000, jumping to $485,000 a decade later in 2003. Now, according to REINZ statistics, it is $955,000.

Harcourts Mairangi Bay real estate agent Deb McCool was not surprised Campbells Bay average house values came in at $1.018 million.

Once made up of holiday baches, the suburb now boasted good school zones, well-appointed character homes and full-sized established sites - all major drawcards for buyers, Mrs McCool said.

PropertyIQ research director Jonno Ingerson said values in Auckland had increased by 11 per cent during the past year.

He said while there were emerging signs that some of the higher-value suburbs were slowing down or flattening, and in a few cases even declining slightly, overall the values remained buoyant.

"While buyer interest remains high and available stock is constrained then prices are unlikely to drop significantly."