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Harcourts Gold salesperson Cameron Bailey said not only is the property at 8 Wood Lane, in Fendalton, the city’s best house, but it is also on the best site and best street in the city.
The city's house price record currently stands at $8m, for a property on Wairarapa Terrace, in Merivale, which sold in 2021.
But the character-inspired five-bedroom, five-bathroom home at 8 Wood Lane has the city’s second-highest RV at $8.34m and could break the $10m mark.
The owners, Bill and Mrrietta Horncastle, built the Wood Lane property 12 years ago after being drawn to the 3338 s qm parklike gardens surrounded by a river boundary, just 200 metres from Hagley Park.
The couple told Stuff in 2016 the established gardens and river gave it a country feel in the heart of the city.
The original house, built for English settler and the street’s namesake William Derisley Wood, had undergone multiple extensions over the years and the couple decided to build a new home in its place.
But the discovery of two rooms dating back to the original 1890s home provided inspiration for their new home, which was rebuilt around them.
The home was designed with the help of architect Tim Devine and includes period features such as high studs, skirting boards, architraves, cornices and doors.
“It’s essentially a modern home you are buying. It’s got all the creature comforts of a modern home – it's wonderful.”
Bailey said the home would attract people who wanted privacy and aspect on a north-facing site. When asked if it could break the city's price record, he said "undoubtedly".
“You feel like you're in your own botanical gardens. It’s a big home so it would suit a family, but I could also see a retired couple in there just enjoying the land, the garden and the aspect. I just think it’s such a unique property that if you can afford it, why wouldn’t you buy it?” It also has a pool, tennis court and pizza oven.
The buyers for luxury homes were usually businesspeople who were insulated from the rest of the market and just bought them because they wanted them, he said. “Properties like this are an icon, they don’t come up very often.”
Bayleys agent Adam Heazlewood has also noticed a lift in the number of high-end properties coming to market, noting that some will likely break suburb price records.
Heazlewood said the people buying the potentially record-breaking homes could be from out-of-town as there’s a large influx of people relocating from Auckland and to a lesser extent Otago.
“It’s just a major consideration for people to live here now whereas I think it was sort of blown off in the past, but now we are meeting some people with some very big budgets moving here.”
However, there were also locals who might not be actively looking, but would move for the right property.
“Some of our most expensive sales to date, which have been in that $6m to $8m range have all still been locals – well the majority have been locals.”
Substantial landholdings were also very attractive to buyers because it creates a private oasis. “They are all about their privacy, so that’s definitely a key attribute they are after – no question.”
Bayleys agent Steve Ellis has seen an increase in buyers looking at properties for sale in the $3m plus price range.
A large four-bedroom, three-bathroom home with impressive sea views at 74 Scarborough Road, in Scarborough, has attracted about half a dozen interested parties so far, while a modern beachfront property at 8a Beachville Road, in Redcliffs, caught the attention of a buyer in Queenstown and an expat Kiwi living in the Middle East.
Ellis said Christchurch was traditionally a "hibernation city" and everyone seemed to have been holding off until Spring.
“I think people are realising the market has bottomed out and starting to realise it might be time to move again and there’s been quite a pickup in listings.”