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15 Feb 2024

$15M Penthouse in Auckland’s CBD Goes for Sale: Signals Promising Signs for High-Rise Developments

A new luxury penthouse in Auckland is currently listed at an eye-watering price of $15 million, promising a solid revival for developments and businesses in the city centre. Architecture and planning experts claim that such developments signal a demand, and that the city should plan up rather than out. 

51 Albert is a high-end development by builders Ninety-Four Feet with sweeping views of Auckland’s CBD and iconic river. The development, which is on its way to completion, will boast 30 sky home apartments and a new hotel.  

As its name suggests, 51 Albert is located at 51 Albert St. Its sweeping views demand a hefty price tag, especially on the top two floors – where the penthouse’s highest recorded price is $15 million.

Strong demand prompts signs of CBD revival

According to Sotheby’s Realty, the agency tasked with selling the luxury apartments, most units have already been sold. 

Managing Director Mark Harris believes the strong demand is a sign of the CBD's revival. The developers retained the original old-world structure of the building built in 1912, which Harris claims is a standout among other CBD skylines. 

“There's been a few (developments) that stalled over the past couple of years with the cycle change, so it's great to see this one coming to completion, and there are other plans afoot,” 

"I actually bought one in here myself," Harris told Newshub.

A recovering CBD in the works

Although a clear symbol of luxury, 51 Albert remains a juxtaposition in the CBD. Just below it is blocked-off streets caused by the City Rail Link (CLR) construction. Meanwhile, the empty retail spaces surrounding it are evidence of the effects of the pandemic, many of which are still felt by businesses today.  

This sentiment is shared by Mark Harris, who claims, “It's been a couple of flat years. 

However, Auckland’s CBD is showing signs of returning to business as usual. According to ANZ Centre and PwC Tower, 9 out of 26 office towers in the CBD have zero vacancies. 

Additionally, a study by commercial real estate company JLL records a 7.3% decrease in retail vacancies and a 5.4% increase in rents, partly driven by business activities at the upper end of the market. 

Gavin Read, JLL’s Head of Research, offers promising insights for high-rise demands in the CBD. Read mentions that the completion of the City Rail Link over the next few years will prompt more demand for high-rise developments, and he remains optimistic about the future of Auckland’s CBD. 

"Over the next two to five years, once CRL comes on board and we do more work around where those opportunities are, I think the city has a bright future," 

"I think there is definitely a future for high-rise… There's certainly been talk about new high-rises coming into Auckland,” said Read. 

According to Bill McKay, a senior lecturer at Auckland University’s School of Architecture, the future is up. Citing his worries about Auckland’s extreme urban sprawl, he advocates for building up rather than out. 

"A lot of people think Auckland's pretty built up. It's not really … There are pockets of space all over the place, including the central area," 

"Apartments and high-rise buildings really are the future," McKay said.

Key takeaway

Construction and building trends continue to show promising signs of opportunities ahead, especially in the high-rise building sector. Companies looking to scale their business in this market should consider securing new projects with the right insurance to minimise risk. 

Bonded NZ helps builders and contractors find the best insurance, warranties, and surety bonds that keep their best interests in mind. Whether it's a big or small project, our cost-effective options help them secure their projects at every angle.  

For more information about our services, contact our team today.

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