Corazon Miller is a NZ Herald reporter

Auckland's golden quartet: The suburbs where a home can cost you $2m+

Herne Bay was the first suburb in the country to break the $2m mark. Photo / Supplied
Herne Bay was the first suburb in the country to break the $2m mark. Photo / Supplied

The size of the SuperCity's $2m suburb club has doubled in the last three months with Remuera and Stanley Point joining Herne Bay and St Mary's Bay as the most expensive places to buy a flash new pad.

The priciest suburb continues to be Herne Bay, the first in the country to break the $2m mark. At the end of January it had a QV estimated median value of $2,468,000. The figure for nearby St Mary's Bay was $2,271,550.

Ever since the city got its first $2m suburb two years ago, prices have continued to grow with St Mary's Bay joining Herne Bay late last year.

This year two more have joined the exclusive club with Stanley Point - the small North Shore suburb west of Devonport - hitting $2,018,950 and Remuera $2,019,550 at the end of January.

QV national spokeswoman Andrea Rush said the suburbs were home to a number of larger, architect-designed and historic houses on sites with mature gardens and harbour views - key factors driving up prices.

"They are also in popular school zones and for all these reasons are deemed some of Auckland's most prestigious suburbs, making them desirable locations to live."

The next suburb expected to tick over the $2m mark was Epsom, with a median value of $1.87m - a suburb that's in the desirable grammar zone area, has access to public transport, is near the central city and has access to Cornwall Park.

These figures in the QV quarterly Property Report published tomorrow showed despite the high price tag of houses in these suburbs, it's not deterring growth.

Of the top ten Auckland suburbs the majority experienced a rise in value. The largest was Mission Bay which grew by $75,036 (4.4 per cent) in the last December quarter.

Of the top 10 most expensive suburbs none dipped below the $1.5m mark. The cheapest of the bunch was the waterfront suburb of Kohimaramara, which had a median value of $1.74m in December, up $71,972 in the quarter.

However the report also shows that outside of the more expensive suburbs, a majority of areas around the south, west and north experienced negative growth.

According to the figures, compiled from CoreLogic data, twenty-two suburbs have a qv.co.nz estimated median value of more than $1.5m.

First National chief executive Bob Brereton said the coastal view and the proximity to the city were key reasons prices were high.

"Everywhere you go in the country, anywhere down the east coast, west coast, where there's good water views the price goes up.

"Auckland is no exception with that and you've got the added advantage that it is very accessible from the inner city."

While Brereton said sales volumes weren't as high at they had been, a complete correction of the market was unlikely.

"I suspect we will see an increase, a lift in sales volumes, but no real correction in cost."

Brereton said given the way Herne Bay had grown in value in the past few months alone he didn't expect a $3m suburb was completely out of the question.

"It's going to come."

Rush said if the rate of growth in the suburb continued at the rates it had last year [17.5 per cent], by 2018 it would have a median value above $3m.

Top 4 Auckland suburbs

Herne Bay: $2.47m
Saint Mary's Bay: $2.27m
Stanley Point: $2.02m
Remuera: $2.02m

Meet the Main family - they managed to get into Remuera when property values were half what they are today.

Property owner Emma Main with her children Scarlet, 5, and Henry, 7, at their new home on Mainston Road in Remuera. Photo / Jason Oxenham
Property owner Emma Main with her children Scarlet, 5, and Henry, 7, at their new home on Mainston Road in Remuera. Photo / Jason Oxenham

When Emma and William Main first moved back to Auckland six years ago the plan was to move into what they believed to be the hip and trendy suburbs in the west of the city.

"At the time we'd wanted to move to Westmere, thinking it was a bit more of a young, fun kind of area," said Emma Main, 37.

However, the couple, who'd spent the last eight years living in Sydney, found they could get more value for their money in the quieter suburb of Remuera - the latest one in the city to join the exclusive $2m-plus suburb alongside Herne Bay, St Mary's Bay and Stanley Point.

For just over $1m, the couple bought a 4-bedroom bungalow on Mainston Road in 2011.

While Main, a mother of two young school-aged children, could see how prices in the central city suburb were now double the cost of her home, she said a $2m price tag was quite pricey.

"If you were to say that six years ago I'd have said 'Gosh that's expensive'."

She was grateful they'd managed to nab their family home before the prices spiked.

"I do have friends now coming back from overseas that are like 'Where do you go?'. It's a very competitive market now."

Main said the higher prices over in Australia were a key factor in having driven them back home to New Zealand.

"When we looked to find a property over in Australia it was really hard to find something. You'd have to go into the burbs there to get anything with any sort of decent size.

"We were living in an apartment and felt we had grown out of that way living."

She said living in Remuera, where she'd also grown up in, had surpassed their expectations.

"We love it; it's family friendly and lots of families coming through," she said. "I guess with great public primary schools in the area, it's a huge draw card to living here and there's lots of great things coming into the area."

- Herald on Sunday

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