Record-Breaking $40M Estate Sale Shakes Up Queenstown’s Luxury Market


The placid town of Queenstown, renowned for its luxurious homes has witnessed yet another major real estate record, with the most expensive residence in New Zealand history selling for an excess of $40 million. The sprawling 15-hectare estate was passed into new ownership earlier this year, albeit cloaked in a veil of confidentiality and privacy by the real estate agency involved in the transaction.

The broker overseeing the sale, Hamish Walker from Walker and Co Realty, has remained tight-lipped about the exact address of the trophy home and the identities of both the buyer and seller. In his own words, his preferential discretion in such sales is what continuously draws high-value clients to his firm. It is understood that the transaction isn’t officially settled and preliminary conjecture suggests that some portion of the estate may be potentially subdivided.

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The selling price of this particular home triumphantly surpasses the previous house price record of $38.5m, staunchly held since 2013 by the former Hotchin mansion, in Auckland’s Orakei. This record was brokered by rich lister agent Graham Wall of Wall Real Estate. Since the Hotchin mansion sale, only the Coatesville mansion, owned by the ZURU Toys billionaires, dared to flirt with the top range with its selling price of $32.5m in 2016.

Hamish Walker surmises that, while the luxury estate sale amounts to a large sum for a single property, he would not be surprised to see more high-end sales in the near future. Despite proposed changes to foreign buying legislation by the National Party, he doesn’t envisage a deluge of buyers. Instead, the price range of $15m to $20m would potentially see more activity. Walker also acknowledges the duration and complexity involved in putting together such significant deals.

Apart from his record-breaking sales, Walker is currently promoting a lavish four-bedroom Millbrook Mill Farm new-build in Queenstown. He addresses the fact that many of his clients, high-profile individuals looking to escape city life, value discretion and rely on his access to both listed and off-market properties. Through serving their various needs, Walker accentuates the idyllic appeal of Queenstown’s lifestyle.

Queenstown-Lakes district has historically seen impressive property sales. In 2023, a magnificent house nestled within a gated community on Jacks Point exchanged hands for just over $19m. The year also saw a lavish near-new house in Wānaka capture $10m on the market. However, Valocity notes a significantly slower turnover for the luxury market in 2023 compared to previous years.

Nonetheless, with the international devotion to luxury real estate unabated, more high-scale purchases in New Zealand seem likely. Despite considerations about limited stock in deliberating the future of Queenstown and Auckland’s luxury market, New Zealand is still considered a price bargain on the global scale. The world’s most expensive property, listed for £250 million, is a Georgian mansion tucked away in London’s Regents Park; casting the recent Queenstown estate sale into a less intimidating monetary perspective.