Crib bought for $210,000 sells for $2.6m

The 1960s house on Lakeview Terrace, Lake Hāwea, sold for $2.665m – a handsome gain of $2.455m in...
The 1960s house on Lakeview Terrace, Lake Hāwea, sold for $2.665m – a handsome gain of $2.455m in 22 years. Photo: Supplied
Owners of a crib in Lake Hāwea, the Central Otago village about 20 minutes out of Wānaka, made nearly $2.5 million in the 22 years they owned their modest home.

The family bought the 90sqm three-bedroom 1960s home on the point at Lakeview Terrace in 2001 for just $210,000, selling it just before Christmas for $2.665m.

The price for the Lakeview Terrace house was indicative of the changing buyers attracted to the lakeside town, said Graham Berry, director of Berry Real Estate, who brokered the deal.

"It is a record per square metre price for Lake Hāwea," he said, adding that price was 20% higher per square metre than the $3.1m paid for an empty 1522sqm section on the lakeside on Skinner Crescent in July.

"I think a different style of people are turning up [in] Hāwea. The last two sales I’ve had have been people that you’d call a sophisticated buyer, people who buy property in lots of places.

"They think that view of the peak as the best view in the world," Berry said, adding that the Lakeview Terrace buyer was an Australian-based New Zealander who plans to enhance the 1960s style of the house.

The mountain town with a permanent population of less than 2000 souls, best known for its outdoor adventuring and stunning views of the surround peaks, has been growing in popularity over the past few years, Berry said.

But lakefront properties rarely come to market and are becoming increasingly scarce.

Lakefront properties on Lake Hāwea rarely come to market, according to an agent, and RVs have...
Lakefront properties on Lake Hāwea rarely come to market, according to an agent, and RVs have little relevance. Photo: Supplied
Berry said the buyers of the Lakeview Terrace house were drawn not only to the spectacular views, but also to the sensitive preservation of the mid-century modern house, which had been insulated and carefully restored.

He said that some years there are no properties on the lake front for sale at all, although in the past last year or so there was an unusual run. A handful of lakefront home changed hands since September 2022 fetching prices between $2.8m and $2.9m. One Lakeview Crescent house sold for $300,000 more than it had fetched just 18 months before, OneRoof records show.

Berry said buyers were specifically looking for Lake Hāwea, rather than Wānaka or Queenstown.

"These buyers have enough money to buy lakefront Wānaka, but they’re looking for different things – Hāwea is quieter, smaller, it’s got that alpine hamlet feel.

"They’re not wanting the proximity to the bright lights, why would you want that? Queenstown’s got the airport, that’s all," Berry said.

He said that the current RVs were no indication of prices, as values have swiftly increased.

A 10-year-old house on Nichol Street, Lake Hāwea, is one of the new alpine-style architecture...
A 10-year-old house on Nichol Street, Lake Hāwea, is one of the new alpine-style architecture popular in the town. Photo: Supplied
New housing stock in the town is growing, thanks to 470 new residential lots on the 3.5-hectare Longview lifestyle subdivision, which kicked-off in 2022. The suburb will eventually have a childcare centre, reserves, playgrounds, a cafe and offices.

Near-new houses are in demand too. Berry is listing a four-bedroom house on 78 Nichol Street, Lake Hāwea.

The 10-year-old house is in what Berry calls "alpine style", featuring raked roof, stacked stone and cedar exterior. A bedroom with its own kitchenette and sink and access to the deck is billed as a studio.

The house has a CV of $925,000 but Berry said he doesn’t pay much attention to the CVs as they are "all over the place" (they were last updated in 2021).

For adventurous buyers, Berry also has a share of a high country station near Twizel, in the Mackenzie country about two hours from Lake Hāwea in Canterbury.

A 52% shareholding in Totara Peak Station, near Twizel in the Mackenzie county, is for sale...
A 52% shareholding in Totara Peak Station, near Twizel in the Mackenzie county, is for sale looking for around $6m. Photo: Supplied
Buyers are being offered a 52% share in the Totara Peak Station, which has 9km of lake front on Lake Benmore and views of Aoraki Mount Cook and the Southern Alps.

The homestead has an airstrip, and the shareholding includes two consented house sites (more could be added according to the terms of the share). The pastural lease, held by Otago University, does have capacity for 3000 stock units, but Berry said the property also gets income from families renting camping and caravan sites for the summer season to take advantage of the fishing and boating.

"It would be ideal for multiple owners to secure permanent holiday positions each," Berry said in his advertising, adding that offers over $6m will be looked at for the 4937ha property.

"I think the next owners will be a bunch of campers too, for $1m each they can secure their intergenerational camping. Lakefront has a real scarcity," he said.

 - OneRoof