Published: 1 May 2005
Marsden Cove Ltd, which has begun earthworks for the project just around the corner from the Marsden Pt port and the oil refinery on the south side of the entrance to Whangarei Harbour, is a joint venture between Hopper Developments Ltd & Northland Port Corp (NZ) Ltd.
But the Saturday afternoon event was a Hopper show as the managing director of New Zealand’s only canals development company, Leigh Hopper, got up on stage with the chalkies to mark up bids after outlining the project & the group’s history of quality development.
The auction itself was run by former Bayleys auctioneer Ross Foreman in his first experience with the buyer’s choice auction system. About 200 potential bidders registered for the auction, though as far as I could see probably fewer than half that number made bids in the onsite marquee. Bidders seemed to have no trouble adjusting to the novel system.
In the main one-hour auction period, all 100 lots were put on the market simultaneously and after 30 minutes about 30 sites had bids marked against them, with competing bids coming on a few. Each bid was written on a card for delivery to the chalkies.
After 40 minutes, the most expensive site, lot 60, was taken out of the written bidding process and put up for live bids and was sold for just $5000 more than the $1.7 million reserve.
One investor who ended up with 3 purchases unsettled another one trying to buy 2 prominent adjoining sites, contributing to a rise of $194,000 above the combined reserve prices before the 2-lot buyer won out.
Most of the non-canalfront lots sold in the auction went for the reserve or a small amount above it, in a range of $240-280,000, though bidding took one $270,000 lot up to $310,000.
Many of the canal-fronting lots also went for the reserve or a small premium, but the process brought out competitive bidding on about a dozen.
With 5 minutes of basketball-style clock time to go before the auction was over, there were bids on 33 sites. Bids went in on another 18 sites, and competing bids were entered in many, in the 5-minute countdown, with the clocked stopped for auctioning to go live at a few points in the countdown.
Post-auction asking prices will be higher â€“ for a start, all buyers of canalfront sites at the auction got a $25-30,000 jetty thrown in. Most were priced for this event in a range from the low $600,000s through the $800,000s, with a handful over $1 million.
Marsden Cove will eventually have about 700 residential sites built in 10 stages. All stages beyond this first one will have water access through a lock. Title for the stage 1 sites will be released in 2006 and berths in the 250-berth marina will go on the market early in 2006.
Websites: Hopper Developments
24 January 2005: Marsden Cove marina village gets minister’s approval
30 May 2004: Whitianga Waterways entry gets cut on Tuesday
20 June 2001: Whitianga Waterways decision imminent