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$70 million Queenstown deal among big land sales

The sale of a 163-hectare development site at Homestead Bay in Queenstown for $70 million is among a range of large land transactions negotiated by Bayleys.

The land located between Lake Wakatipu and State Highway Six, the southern access road into Queenstown, has been purchased by RCL Group, the developer of the neighbouring Hanley’s Farm residential subdivision.

The sale was negotiated last year by Chris Campbell of Bayleys Queenstown but was conditional on Overseas Investment Office (OIO) approval which has recently been granted. “As far as undeveloped land around Queenstown goes, this was the jewel in the crown and the last remaining large holding with intensive development potential in the Wakatipu Basin,” Campbell said.

RCL Group has plans to develop between 1,700 and 2,300 residential sections on the property, formerly part of the Remarkables Station farm, over the next 10 years. As it has done with Hanley's Farm, RCL is proposing to require land purchasers to construct a dwelling on the lot prior to any resale, and within four years.

Bayleys Queenstown managing director David Gubb said there has been strong demand for houses at Hanley’s Farm, which is located next to Jacks Point, when they do come up for resale. Six dwellings in various parts of the subdivision put up for auction by Bayleys in May and June all sold at prices ranging from $1.18 to $1.68 million.

“Queenstown’s southern corridor, between the lake and the Remarkables mountain range, is one of the areas flagged by the Queenstown Lakes District Council as a priority for development to address the town’s housing shortage and it has proved very popular with purchasers even during the recent downturn in the market.”

In its application to the OIO, RCL says it is 10 years ahead of schedule in its development of Hanley’s Farm, now expected to be completed by 2025. Approximately 1,000 sections have been developed and titled so far with only 300 sections remaining unsold. Ryan Johnson, Bayleys national commercial and industrial director, said despite the challenging conditions across the real estate sector there has been continued domestic and offshore interest in development land sales where values have declined around 10 to 20 percent.

“Purchasers are seeing through the current cycle and getting their pipelines set for the next five to 10 years. Buyers are very focused on quality development opportunities to support what will be continued residential housing demand, particularly in strong population growth areas like Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Canterbury, and Queenstown.”

Other large land sales that have been concluded by BayIeys’ development land sales team include:

  • 90ha of land near Feilding in the Manawatu sold for residential development for $81.5 million by Karl Cameron of Bayleys’ Palmerston North office.
  • A 191ha Wainui landholding, including close to 62ha zoned Future Urban, marketed by Ryan Johnson and Ben Clare and Graeme Perigo of Bayleys Silverdale sold to a developer for $76.5 million.
  • Ferncliffe Farm, 764 State Highway 29, Tauriko, Tauranga, comprising 95.3ha of dairying land with potential for up to 1000 residential lots, was sold for $70.4 million by Mark Walton and Simon Maxwell, Bayleys Tauranga and Ryan Johnson. It is zoned rural but is subject to a Plan Change by Tauranga City Council.
  • A 2.6411ha corner site at 73 Fred Taylor Drive, Westgate with a Light Industry zoning sold for $33,013,075 at $1,250 per sqm by Beterly Pan, Mark Preston and Stuart Bode.

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