Buyers at a forthcoming auction of Queen Charlotte Sounds properties could be spending their first summer in their new holiday homes with the timing of an auction planned to allow paper work to be done and dusted before Christmas.
Eight properties in the Queen Charlotte Sounds area will go under the hammer at Bayleys Marlborough’s special auction day on Sunday, November 22 - with marketing agent and auctioneer, Glenn Dick, saying all vendors are genuinely realistic about the changing market and the effect this had had on their property values.
“The properties range from one of the cheapest sections available in the Sounds today, through to good family baches and a couple of apartments in Picton – gateway to the Sounds,” says Mr Dick.
Sections in Spenser Bay and Double Cove, along with baches in Driftwood Bay, Blackwood Bay, Onahau Bay and Burneys Beach (all with shared jetties), will line up with two apartments in the newly-redeveloped Oxleys Hotel complex. One section on Snake Point has already sold prior to auction day.
Labour Weekend officially marked the start of the summer season for the Sounds, and with Marlborough and Canterbury Anniversary weekends in November ahead of the countdown to Christmas, Mr Dick says a small window of opportunity opened to bring a selection of properties to the market to allow buyers to see what their dollar can buy.
“We’ve come through a long winter and a recessionary period and now it’s time to find out where the market level is for properties in the Sounds. It’s been pretty hard to know just where values sit when the economy has been something of a moving target,” says Mr Dick.
“By getting a room full of potential buyers, and putting up properties across the price spectrum, our vendors will get a good idea of where the market is. And, buyers who have maybe dismissed the idea of buying a holiday property in recent years may – in light of the confidence that seems to be returning to the market – be enticed back into looking again.”
In the last nine months, REINZ statistics show that 24 properties in total sold in the Marlborough Sounds and, of these, eight were in Queen Charlotte Sound. Bayleys Marlborough concluded six of these eight sales - giving them a 75 percent share of the market with nine main real estate companies competing for the business.
In January this year, Mr Dick took an original Onahau Bay villa – which had been in the same family for 150 years – through a high-profile auction campaign and sold it under the hammer for $1.9 million to a Wairarapa family who, in time, intend to restore the property.
As with that property, the Sounds properties up for auction next month are only accessible by boat, but are within 10-30 minutes boat ride from the Picton or Waikawa Bay marinas where there is good parking. Mr Dick says this is seen as a plus rather than a negative for those he has sold Sounds properties to.
“People like the escapism factor of the Sounds. It’s a break from the realities of life and the fact that you can only get to the property by sea, adds to that. For those that don’t have their own boat, there are five water taxi companies offering both scheduled and charter services, so transport is not a problem,” says Mr Dick.
City slickers who can’t quite abandon all of their urban lifestyle rituals will be glad to know that the Queen Charlotte Sounds boasts several quality resorts and lodges for upmarket dining and an espresso fix, while those looking to get back to basics will revel in the adventure eco-tourism opportunities that the Sounds sports.
Permanent residents in the Queen Charlotte Sounds can organise for lawns and gardens to be tended for absentee owners, there’s a mail boat delivery twice a week, and a burgeoning holiday rental market for those wishing to see some return on their property investment.
“This area really is a playground,” says Mr Dick. “I have sold many Sounds properties to overseas buyers who just can’t believe the lifestyle that the area offers and then there are the Kiwis who have holidayed here for years and now realise that owning their own property in the Sounds is achievable.”