Auckland property prices: What a few million dollars buys in Christchurch instead

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In Auckland, $2 million can get you a rundown villa with no toilet.

In Christchurch, a few million dollars might just net you an elegant 11-bedroom mansion with sweeping city views.

The 1928-built Hackthorne Gardens home in the suburb of Cashmere has just been listed for sale and sits on a huge 4034sq m hilltop site in the lower Port Hills.

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The home includes views over Christchurch, the ocean and Southern Alps. Photo / Supplied

Yet despite being an historically important, three-storey timber home with views over Christchurch, the ocean and Southern Alps, the city council valued it at only $2.6m in 2019.

The home’s marketing site doesn’t have a sale price listed, but some property websites estimate its current value at around $3.6m.

Boasting a “colourful” history, the mansion has served as home base for a famous city businessman and philanthropist, residence for intellectually disabled children and a boutique hotel.

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It comes with 11 bedrooms and bathrooms, bar and commercial kitchen. Photo / Supplied

“The brief from its original owner, Archibald Henry Anthony, to renowned architect William Trengrove was for a family home in the style of an ‘Englishman’s stately residence’,” the home’s advertisement by agents Harcourts said.

“The resulting home, built in 1928, certainly delivers on that brief, incorporating elements of the Art Deco style of the day to create an unforgettable blend of romance and grandeur.”

That has led Christchurch City Council to declare the home as socially and culturally important.

A council district plan said the mansion sits among a “precinct” of posh timber bungalows straddling the lower Port Hills that chart “the evolution of domestic architecture in the city during the first three decades of the 20th century”.

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Hackthorne Gardens has gone on sale in Christchurch with sweeping views, 11 bedrooms and bathrooms and a 'colourful' history. Photo / Supplied

And – as the flashy home of prominent 1920s businessman Anthony, who worked first as a car salesman before becoming a lawyer – its architecture also helps illustrate “the habits, tastes and lifestyle of the time”.

Its other important role came when Anthony sold it in 1964 for a “modest gratuity”.

The mansion then became “the Grace and Shirley Hohepa Home, (named after his late wife and daughter), a boarding school for disabled children based on Steiner principles” emphasising creative learning.

Later the property was sold to private owners in 1987 before opening in 1994 as a luxury bed-and-breakfast, the council report said.

Recently, the mansion has been running as a luxury hotel after a China-based owner bought it in 2015 to serve as a private residence but later decided to open it up and “share it with others”, according to the hotel website.

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Operating as a hotel currently, it includes a terrace that runs the entire length of the mansion. Photo / Supplied

The mansion comes with 11 bedrooms and bathrooms, a commercial kitchen, bar, grand entrance hall with “beautifully crafted staircase” and a wide terrace that runs the length of the home giving city vistas and opening onto a “sprawling” garden.

Investment in the property “is underpinned by 4034 sqm of blue-chip real estate that remains as desirable today as it was when Archibald Henry Anthony first commissioned his magnificent new home”, Harcourts marketing material states.

“This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to secure a slice of history – and an exciting commercial or residential property.”

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