There are few places in the world that offer countryside living within about a 20- minutes’ drive from a major city’s central business district. This mix of accessibility and seclusion are major draws for Coatesville, a suburb to the northwest of Auckland, New Zealand, which is attracting cashed-up buyers from around the globe.
Coatesville is elevated above the surrounding area, giving many of its properties views of undulating hills and forests. Equestrian facilities, tennis courts, swimming pools and home theaters are common inclusions to Coatesville homes, with properties often spanning two or more hectares (five or more acres).
Hiking and river fishing are popular in this pristine area, and there’s an abundance of fine food at farmer’s markets and restaurants. Plus, the suburb is home to some of New Zealand’s most prestigious private schools, and there is a major shopping mall within a five-minutes’ drive at the regional center of Albury.
“You wouldn’t find a more supportive community to bring up a family,” said Nicky White, an associate with Precision Real Estate and a local of Coatesville. “It’s a neat mix of people, with quite a diverse mix of cultures and age groups.”
Coatesville lies about 30 kilometers (or 18 miles) northwest of Auckland. It ends at the Rangitopuni Stream to the West, Ridge Road to the South and O’Brien Road to the East. Its northern borders are mostly property boundaries rather than distinctive landmarks or roads, with its northernmost tip about a kilometer beyond Sunnyside Road.
Data is hard to come by for Coatesville due to the relatively low number of sales and listings.
But Premium Real Estate broker Jason Smale–a real estate agent and valuer–believes Coatesville is Auckland’s most expensive suburb, topping luxurious Herne Bay next to the city center. By looking through all the sales in Coatesville made in 2016 and excluding sales he did not feel represented the general market–such as for bare land–he found an average sale price of NZ$3.319 million (US$2.395 million) based on 47 “bona fide” sales.
Demand exceeds the amount of inventory in Coatesville, and buyers have to move fast when a property comes on the market, according to Mr. Smale.
“When you have a buyer interested in [Coatesville] property, generally they are pretty keen to buy it, as they don’t have a lot of options they can choose from,” he said.
Entry-level Coatesville homes are priced around NZ$1.5 million to NZ$2.5 million (US$1.1 million to US$1.8 million), and these homes have three or four bedrooms on around a hectare of land (two-and-a-half acres), Mr. Smale said. Larger homes on property as big as three hectares can cost around NZ$3.5 million (US$2.5 million), while top-end properties can range from NZ$4 million to well over NZ$10 million (US$2.9 million to more than US$7 million).This six-bedroom, five-bathroom home sits on 2.45 hectar of land is currently listed for about NZ$5.5 million.
At the top end of the market, homes often have more than five bedrooms and can be on blocks larger than 10 hectares (25 acres).
In mid-2016, a four-level Coatesville mansion formerly rented to internet entrepreneur and political activist Kim Dotcom sold for a reported NZ$32.5 million (US$23.5 million). Local media reported the listing price was $35 million (US$25.3 million) and it had been rented to Dotcom for $1 million a year.
The home is set in its own 22.6 hectare (56-acre) park, with a private lake, boathouse, vineyard and stone bridge. There is a separate building for staff, a hedge labyrinth, garaging for up to 10 cars, indoor and outdoor pools, tennis courts and an artificial-tiered waterfall. Inside the 2,375-square-meter mansion, there are 12 bedrooms, seven en-suite bathrooms, a wine cellar, library, billiards room and a vast aquarium built into the wall over the kitchen range.
Coatesville’s homes are typically large family homes with multiple indoor- and outdoor-living areas, big kitchens, and various special-purpose rooms, such as gyms, home cinemas, billiards rooms, separate guest quarters and swimming pools.
They are surrounded by grazing paddocks and landscaped grounds, which feature ponds, sporting facilities, workshops and sometimes equestrian facilities. The flow of money into the area ensures many are new, with striking architectural designs.
What makes it unique
Coatesville’s Countryside Living zoning only permits land of scale, meaning there is a limit on how small lots can be subdivided. This preserves the area’s large lots, privacy and seclusion.
Residents enjoy an undulating landscape with plenty of places to hike and horseback ride, and pristine rivers suitable for fishing. Farmer’s markets dot the area and green thumbs will love the famous gardens, including Mincher Gardens with its old forests, orchards and abundant birdlife.
But while secluded, Coatesville is not isolated. Albany City is a five-to-10 minutes drive away, offering the large Westfield Albany shopping mall and North Harbour Stadium, which hosts many rugby games. The Auckland central business district is less than 30 minutes by car.
Coatesville has some of New Zealand’s most prestigious schools, including Coatesville School (a co-educational junior school), and Kristin School and Pinehurst School (both co-educational with junior, middle and senior schools).
The Black Cottage Cafe and Fernielea Licensed Cafe both serve gourmet food and receive good reviews.
For those who travel regularly, Auckland Airport to the south of Auckland is around a 45-minute drive.
Who lives there
Ms. White said there are a number of famous people living in the area, but she guards the confidentiality of her clients and refuses to name them. She said buyers are often New Zealand expats returning from abroad with families.
“I’m communicating on a weekly basis with expats looking to come home,” she said.
Sandra Mu / Stringer / Getty Images
The wealthy Mowbray family, who founded toy-making business ZURU last year, bought the mansion that was formerly home to Dotcom, with Anne Mowbray telling media company NZME the grand home “went a little against our ethos but we decided to take the plunge anyway.”
Coatesville is tightly held and supply constraints limit transaction volumes, helping to put a floor under prices.
Ms. White said the market has been relatively slow in the past few months, citing the general election on Sept. 23 as one possible reason buyers have other things on their minds.
“The last four or five months have been more of a patient market,” Ms. White said. “In saying that, with the number of multi-offers and properties selling for really good value, the values certainly haven’t decreased and I don’t believe they will in this location.”
Follow Mansion Global:Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | LinkedIn | Messenger
Write to us: firstname.lastname@example.org