Demand aplenty for new sections

Eighteen sections in Wanaka's Meadowstone subdivision sell in a month. Photo by Mark Price.
Eighteen sections in Wanaka's Meadowstone subdivision sell in a month. Photo by Mark Price.

A month ago Willowridge sales manager Tony Brown pegged out 18 new sections in the company's Meadowstone subdivision, in Wanaka.

By 11am on Sunday he had signatures on 18 unconditional contracts - worth a total of more than $5 million.

The sections each had a price tag of $249,000 and Mr Brown said he had expected to spend a year selling them.

''All of a sudden the phone went mad and everyone wanted them,'' he told the Otago Daily Times yesterday.

Mr Brown said there were ''quite a few builders'' looking for sections.

''When the builders start building 'spec' homes again, the market's good.''

He said it was a ''long, long time'' since he had seen such a demand for sections.

''Normally January is pretty quiet. People are looking in January. They don't really make a decision until February-March.

''This year over the holiday break, people are out there actually buying, going unconditional and making decisions.''

Asked about the possible effect of the impending rise in interest rates, Mr Brown said he did not think it was a factor.

''Some of these people have been putting things off for so long.

''All of a sudden they are actually feeling good about the climate ... They are feeling quite positive about what's happening out there and saying, `well why put it off any longer'.''

He considered even with a rise, interest rates would still be quite low compared with the years when they went to 20% or more.

The company had now ''released'' the next stage of the subdivision which consisted of 11 larger sections, two of which had sold. A high level of buyer interest was also reported by Infinity Investment Group which recently began marketing its yet-to-be-built, 44-apartment complex in Lakeside Rd, overlooking Roys Bay, at prices between $995,000 and $1.7 million.

Infinity communications manager Hetty Van Hale said yesterday options had been taken out on all but seven of the apartments.

Those who had signed up for a $1000 refundable option had until March 1 to ''complete or opt out''.

However, Ms Van Hale said the company had a waiting list for options on some apartments.

''There's definitely a lot of interest in properties around Wanaka.

''The interest in this has taken us by surprise.

''There has been unprecedented demand, I think.''

mark.price@odt.co.nz