While prices across most of the rest of the country have dipped, the average house price in Queenstown and Central Otago has skyrocketed to a record $1.6 million.

According to the latest figures from realestate.co.nz, the Central Otago-Lakes District reached an “unprecedented high” in December last year, recording an average asking price of $1,590,855, the highest on record for any region in the country.

Realestate.co.nz spokeswoman Vanessa Williams said the previous record for the all-time highest average asking price in New Zealand was $1,531,764 recorded in July last year, also held by Central Otago-Lakes District.

“This region’s popularity over the last couple of years has seen average asking prices soar well above those in our largest city of Auckland,” she said.

The record, having soared about $60,000 in five months, is about $500,000 more than Auckland and $1m more than the average across the rest of Otago.

Of the 19 regions listed, a fall in average asking prices occurred in 13 areas since December 2022, the national average dropping 3.9% to $877,216.

Harcourts Queenstown branch manager Priscilla Uhrle said 27% of all the listings on realestate.co.nz for the Central Otago -Lakes District were priced at $2m or higher.

A large proportion of the properties available now to buy in Queenstown were luxury properties for which Harcourts had registerered strong demand over the holiday period.

“Demand will always be high in Queenstown. Our region is beautiful and land is in limited supply as the town is enclosed by mountains and water.

“We are a globally recognised tourist destination, with out-of-town and overseas buyers aspiring to own property here as well.”

Ms Uhrle said actual sales data would paint a more accurate picture of the market compared to asking prices and averages could sometimes distort the picture.

While she said there would always be affordable and warm healthy homes available in Queenstown, the mindset of owning “the quarter-acre Kiwi dream” needed to be re-evaluated.”

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