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America's Cup property goldrush gets talked up in Auckland

by Sail-World.com/nz/NZ Herald 28 Sep 2018 16:34 PDT 29 September 2018
Hobson Wharf currently is the base for the National Maritime Museum and centre of the America's Cup Hub in Auckland © Richard Gladwell

Auckland looks like it could be falling into the America's Cup venue trap of price gouging, as the first reports of waterfront property sales come through, with agents talking up the prices.

Every America's Cup to date has been caught by price gouging - which makes for great newspaper headlines, but effectively kills the economic benefit as prices get clocked, and suddenly the event is on with substantially reduced visitor numbers.

Hopefully as Auckland is the only venue to lose the Cup and then re-stage it, hopefully some lessons will be learned - or will greed kill the golden goose?

Here's the opening salvo from today's NZ Herald:

America's Cup overseas syndicate members have already begun moving on Auckland property for the 2021 challenge, with one $7 million Herne Bay sale already settled and another under negotiation even though the event is still three years away.

Ollie Wall, of Graham Wall Real Estate, said a participant in the 36th challenge had just bought the property which has extensive waterfront views in New Zealand's most expensive suburb.

The agency team is also working on other deals, having attended four consecutive America's Cups to make connections.

"We've just sold one house to a Kiwi in a syndicate and he'll move back here," Ollie Wall said. "A large percentage of the high-end properties we sell are to Kiwis moving home. America's Cup is full of Kiwis, so we expect a spike in this market."

Graham Wall said there was a "serious shopping list of houses" the syndicates wanted to rent or buy.

"We're negotiating another for a different syndicate. All three syndicates have asked us to source homes for them. I've guaranteed they'll make money on the deals if they buy now and hold them for three years. It's going to be very hard to get a beautiful home to stay in here if they leave it too long."

Andrew Wall said the agency had "the best houses in the best positions, looking down the harbour" and he named four such places, expected to sell for under $20m each.

Sara Paesani, of Italy's Luna Rossa Challenge, confirmed the entity was already collecting information and examining proposals about Auckland properties, "matching those with details we are receiving from the America's Cup organisation about locations and all related facilities".

However, it was too early to be talking about specifics, she said.

For the rest of this story click here

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