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An architect and a builder were judging Wakatipu homes in a specific price range before continuing throughout the country as part of the Registered Master Builders 2014 House of the Year contest.
There are different judges for different price categories and more homes in Queenstown will be judged this weekend.
A total of 317 homes nationwide are in the competition and they range from new homes to show homes to renovations and builder's own homes.
In the southern region - which includes Alexandra, Invercargill, Wanaka, Mosgiel, Cromwell, Queenstown, Wyndham, Outram, Arrowtown, Frankton and Dunedin - there are 40 homes entered. Twelve are in Queenstown and two in Arrowtown.
Regional winners will be announced at events in July and August and the southern event will be held in Invercargill on July 5.
The competition has been going for more than 20 years and Registered Master Builders Association chief executive Warwick Quinn said it gave builders the opportunity to ''see how they measure up against their peers''.
''Registered master builders continue to enter the competition year after year, because winning a House of the Year award is a fantastic tool for promoting their business,'' Mr Quinn said.
There is a 29% increase from 2013 in entries from the Canterbury area, which reflects the completion of homes during the rebuild.
There are also increased entries from the Auckland, East Coast, Manawatu, Wanganui and southern regions.