REAL ESTATE

City Sales Best Positioned to Advise on Complicated Purchases

Sunday 30 May 2021, 2:08AM
By Beckie Wright
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A high-rise Auckland apartment block which is home to many university academics is suffering from building defects which will cost a minimum estimated $25 million to fix. 

Owners of the 14-level Connaught apartments in the block at 14 Waterloo Quadrant near the High Court describe how the costs are mounting, with one saying repair costs had doubled lately. 

"The body corporate is currently recommending a comprehensive redevelopment of the property to address maintenance issues — a rebuild that has already doubled in estimated costs in just two years, to more than $25m, with no apparent end in sight," one owner said. 

Scott Dunn of City Sales said he sold apartment 12d last year, with a car park, for $425,000. The owner just wanted out of the problems she faced with the high cost of repairs and wanted to be able to sleep. "The Connaught has quite small studios, decent sized one-bedroom with a car park and two-bedroom units on corners that are quite beautiful," he said. 

Dunn explained that sale prices were being discounted heavily because of problems with the building, and the cost of repairs usually rises, so people buying feared a doubling or trebling of the possible repair costs. "There's a limited pool of buyers, restricted to cash buyers, and often banks won't lend on places like those in The Connaught because they fear the repair costs," he said. 

"The Connaught has been one of most prestigious apartment buildings and once fixed, it will be again. The benefit for an investor is they might get something for an absolute steal. The contracts for sale and purchase were much thicker than standard contracts and included all body corporate reports, minutes and information. That allowed potential buyers to do full due diligence,” he said. Buyers were also advised to get independent legal and technical advice before buying. 

Susan St John, body corporate chairwoman and also an academic, confirmed to the Herald that extensive works were being planned for the high-rise. "With the building approaching 25 years old, engineers have recommended a number of repairs and renewal tasks. None of these are considered urgent but are important for the long-term benefit of the building. Engineering advice was taken on potential health and safety aspects and all recommendations were being implemented,” she said.  

City Sales are very experienced, and the best positioned to advise, not just with freehold and non-remedial properties but also the more complicated such as remedial and leasehold purchases, so for more information on real estate agents Auckland and selling apartments please go to http://www.citysales.co.nz .