Experts predict foreign interest in hidden Central Hawke’s Bay mansion

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A stunning mansion tucked away in Central Hawke’s Bay is on the market for the first time, and experts predict that buyer interest will likely come from abroad or from New Zealand’s elite society.

The property, marketed by Bayleys and described in its Oneroof listing as “beyond extraordinary” It will be sold by auction in March.

Completed in the mid-2000s and described as a “secluded, private sanctuary,” the eight-bedroom, eight-bathroom home also has six parking spaces.

Located on a road off State Highway 50, the sprawling freehold home comes with a substantial amount of land, nearly 25 acres.

But it is the size of its “grand principal residence” that sets it apart: the building’s footprint covers 2,292 m2, enough space to accommodate 45 small apartments of 50 m2 each.

Designed by renowned Romanian-Kiwi architect Paris Magdalinos, it also features guest accommodation and a leisure/entertainment wing.

The address and sale price have been kept private.

James Wilson, Valocity’s head of valuations, said properties at the multi-billion dollar price this would command were “very rare” in New Zealand.

Global factors, such as the conflict in Ukraine, would affect the buying plans of the most likely buyers: cashiers, he said.

“You get some local rich [prospective] buyers, but it’s usually the foreign buyer’s domain, at that price anyway.”

Views of the ranges and the foothills of Central Hawkes Bay surround the house.  Photo / OneRoof (supplied)
Views of the ranges and the foothills of Central Hawkes Bay surround the house. Photo / OneRoof (supplied)

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Since 2018, foreign nationals cannot buy an existing house or land in Aotearoa unless they get approval from the Overseas Investment Office.

However, the red tape “will not deter a serious buyer,” he said.

Wilson said there has been “significant demand” for secluded lifestyle properties since the Covid-19 pandemic began, but current economic headwinds, such as the official cash rate hike, “point to a market moderate”.

According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ), October median house prices for all of Hawke’s Bay sit at $730,000, down 11.0% from a year ago.

But the Hastings district (including Central Hawke’s Bay) had a slower decline of 8.5 percent over the same period.

Hastings district average prices have not changed in three months.

Valocity data shows that sales of all types of Hawke’s Bay properties have fallen over the past year.

In the fourth quarter of last year, 61 lifestyle properties were sold, falling to 30 in the second quarter of this year.

The 6,157 lifestyle properties in Hawke’s Bay represent around 10 per cent of the region’s total housing stock.

Wilson said there was hope that we would be talking about a “flat” housing market in next year’s election, rather than a “declining” one.

The property features an indoor swimming pool as well as a leisure and entertainment wing.  Photo / OneRoof
The property features an indoor swimming pool as well as a leisure and entertainment wing. Photo / OneRoof

A satellite image of the vast property, the land of which covers almost 25 hectares.  Photo / Google
A satellite image of the vast property, the land of which covers almost 25 hectares. Photo / Google

The property has large gardens.  Photo / OneRoof
The property has large gardens. Photo / OneRoof

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