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‘Mortgagee sale’ signs re-emerge at Te Anau

‘Mortgagee sale’ signs re-emerge at Te Anau residential sections

‘Mortgagee sale’ signs – believed to be a first for residential property in Te Anau.

‘Mortgagee sale’ signs have once again appeared in the remote South Island township of Te Anau for only the second time in the town’s history.

Seven plots of residential land in what was once labeled to be the town’s premier lifestyle subdivision have been place on the market for sale. Initial roading and infrastructure services work on the subdivision, called Murchison Park, was begun, although never fully commenced.

Six of the sites now being sold by the mortgagee range in size from 1416 square metres to 2496 square metres. The remaining block up for sale is 43 hectares and had been lined up for subdivision into a number of smaller landholdings. The portfolio of residential land is being sold by Bayleys Queenstown through a tender process closing on November 7.

The properties were owned by a company called Riverside Lifestyle Ltd. Company records show the sole director of Riverside Lifestyle Ltd is Bay of Plenty-based property developer Robert Bryan Wickham.

Bayleys Queenstown sales person Stephanie McMeeken said the sections – located on Te Anau’s eastern border - had elevated views over the township and out toward Fiordland National Park. The sections were being marketed for sale either individually, or as one package.

“The vision for the subdivision when it was first promoted several years ago was to create a high quality lifestyle environment featuring a mix of owner occupier dwellings and holiday homes for owners in the Otago and Southland regions,” Ms McMeeken said.

“The blocks were subdivided from a bigger original landholding, and council titles issued, but while plans were drawn up for the installation of roading, sewage, power and phone lines, only the first stage of infrastructure work was ever undertaken. Six sites were initially sold off the developer’s master plan and are now in private ownership.”

“As a result, the land has remained in a paddock-like condition just waiting for something to happen.”

The last New Zealand population census shows Te Anau has a population of approximately 1900 people. The primary industry in the town is tourism and hospitality-related services including food and beverage operations.

Ms McMeeken said she had already received potential buyer interest from Queenstown and Invercargill, although it was still too early to know how the final sale scenario would pan out.

“There is any combination of ways these sections could be sold off, so until all tenders are put in front of the vendor, it’s impossible to speculate how this campaign will conclude in terms of new ownership. Some buyers may want one or two sections, others may want three or four, and others may want them all,” she said.

“Until all offers are reviewed, we simply can’t say if the parts are valued individually higher than the total, or if the combined trio outweighs the value of the smaller parts.

Te Anau experienced what is believed to be its only other residential mortgagee sale earlier this year when the large scale Delta subdivision sold through Bayleys. The 105 section Delta subdivision just a few kilometres away from the Murchison Park location was set on 14.5 hectares. Property records show the land sold for $1.75million to a partnership of Central Otago businessmen.

“While Delta is more for entry level to mid-range budget housing, Murchison Park was targeted more at the top end lifestyle sector of home buyers who wanted substantial land on which to build,” Ms McMeekan said.

Feedback she had been getting from the Te Anau community was that completion and subsequent population of the Murchison Park subdivision would be beneficial for the town’s wider economy – not only for constructing the infrastructure and building services needed to develop the Murchison Park sections, but also from on-going occupation or use of the eventual homes.

“The Te Anau region is renown for its hunting/fishing/hiking outdoors lifestyle, so the target market in that respect is holiday home owners who want something quieter and more a-tune to nature than the bigger towns of say Queenstown and Wanaka. Dwellings like this are often let out when not in use by their owners, so this would add to the town’s accommodation pool,” she said.

Tenders for the Murchison Park section close on November 7.


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