A neighbours consortium, led by a Greater Wellington Regional councillor, believed a prime piece of public land in Porirua should be sold to it for $180,000. Porirua City Council valued it at $600,000.
Yet, when auctioneer Wayne Suttons gavel struck the wooden sound block at Harcourts Paraparaumu on Thursday, the 6000-square-metre Motukaraka Point land sold for $1.635 million following a bidding war.
The winning bid came from an anonymous Wellington man who told Stuff he was not affiliated with the neighbours group.
This section of Pauatahanui land has been auctioned off for nine times what a neighbours valuation claimed it was worth.
Harcourts Paremata real estate agent Gavin Faulke marketed the property, and said the level of interest in it was high.
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Weve never seen anything like this available before. I couldnt tell you the last time, in my career, where I saw 6000sqm of flat land, Faulke said.
Greater Wellington Regional councillor Chris Kirk-Burnnand led a five-strong neighbours consortium who attempted to buy a piece of Motukaraka Point land owned by Porirua City Council.
With views across Pauatahanui Inlet, the property was described in auction literature as a dream section … screaming out for an astute buyer to build their dream home.
Rest assured, your build will be protected by executive neighbouring homes, the advertisement read.
Yet, it was neighbours living in five of those properties, led by regional councillor Chris Kirk-Burnnand, who wanted to protect the land from other interests.
The consortiums valuation, supplied by Colliers International, valued the land at just $180,000. And they believed they had some form of agreement to purchase the property which backs onto their properties.
Porirua City Council had valued the prime piece of land, with views of Pauatahanui Inlet, at $600,000. However, at auction, it sold for more than twice that.
But the councils own valuation was $600,000, with at least one local agent believing it could fetch north of $1m, particularly given demand for flat sections.
Kirk-Burnnand wanted a 2588sqm slice of any sale, which would be a significant addition to his current 15,500sqm property which has a registered valuation of $4.26m.
News of the neighbours interest in the land, and their low valuation, angered a number of people in the community.
Former deputy mayor Kevin Watson was appalled at what he called mates rates for public land.
Former deputy mayor Kevin Watson slammed the neighbours consortiums offer, calling it mates rates. (File photo)
Advocates for the homeless and others struggling to find housing agreed.
You dont see any poor people being offered land for cheap, its all about whos mates with whom, said Housing Action Porirua coordinator Jasmine Taankink.
The council agreed and rejected the claims of the consortium.
It decided against negotiating with the neighbours and put the land on the open market.
Harcourts auctioneer Wayne Sutton during the sale of the council-owned land at Motukaraka Point on Thursday.
Bidding on Lot 1, Grays Rd, Pauatahanui on Thursday was fierce, after Sutton described the property.
We dont find an opportunity like this, in a location like this, very often. I am sure you will all know that approximately 1½ acres in highly sought-after Pauatahanui will be pretty scarce.
A huge opportunity to be able to design your own piece of paradise. Right out of the Bob Jones location, location, location handbook, I would say, Sutton said.
The opening bidder was quick out of the blocks with a $700,000 offer, as every available Harcourts staffer buzzed in and out of the packed room, firing back offers from phone bidders.
Harcourts real estate agent Gavin Faulke says the company embarked on a vigorous marketing campaign on behalf of Porirua City Council leading up to the auction of land at Motukaraka Point, Porirua.
Within minutes, the bidding had surpassed the $1m milestone, drawing gasps from the crowd. That same crowd erupted into applause when the winning bid was accepted.
Kirk-Burnnard did not respond to a request for comment.
Faulke said the property had been aggressively marketed for 3½ weeks prior to the auction.
The room was full of bidders … and we had heaps of inquiry from all over. Ultimately, the people had a fight out in the room, and we got the best price we could for the council.
We got it on Trade Me, we got it on realestate.co.nz, we gave it the full blitz national, and inquiry was non-stop throughout it, Faulke said.
Porirua City Council city growth and partnerships general manager Steven Perdia said the agency was pleased with the price the land fetched at the auction.
When were selling public land, we have an obligation to all ratepayers to get the best possible return, as those funds will be reinvested in the city. So we are happy with the outcome, Perdia said.