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The Home of Sydney's Best Property - Sydney Harbour




Sydney Harbour - photographed by Rodney Haywood

Sydney Harbour Property

The suburbs surrounding Sydney Harbour contain some of Australia's most expensive and exclusive real estate. There are numerous reasons for the attraction, the most obvious being the amazing views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Sydney Opera House and of course the harbour itself.

Being located in close proximity to Sydney's CBD, the home of Australia's largest corporations as well as the local headquarters for many multinational companies, means that many of the harbour side suburbs are popular with many of Australia's most successful business men and women.

In addition to the millionaire, and often billionaire business people living in Sydney's harbour side suburbs, there are also numerous movie and television stars, as well as sports stars and other people will sufficient means. All this money floating around ensures that the waterfront suburbs remain extremely valuable and exclusive.

As the table below shows, median house prices in Sydney are amongst the highest in Australia, if not the world.

Suburb Median House Price Median Unit Price
Point Piper $7,000,000 $2,485,000
Darling Point $3,800,000 $1,125,000
Bellevue Hill $2,975,000 $555,000
Vaucluse $2,800,000 $575,000
Double Bay $2,225,000 $637,000
Rose Bay $1,955,000 $621,000
Kirribilli $1,900,000 $650,000
Woolloomooloo $610,000 $635,000

The median prices listed above are current as at December 2008.

Sydney Harbour Insurance

With many owners of property on Sydney Harbour also being business owners, it is important to be aware of the relevant insurance issues

Most property owners will have NSW public liability insurance included in their home insurance policy, but if not you will need to speak with an insurance broker to make sure you are properly covered.

Having an amazing property located on Sydney Harbour is great, but you also need to make sure that you're properly covered if things go wrong.

Point Piper

Point Piper Real Estate

Point Piper is home to some of the most expensive and exclusive homes in Australia. There are only eleven streets in Point Piper; the main road is Wolseley Road. The price per sqm of real estate in Point Piper is one of the most expensive in the world; property writer Cindy Martin calculated in 2002 that the total value of the properties on the 1km waterfront section of Wolseley Road was AUD$720 million.

John Symond's mansion on Wingadal Place, reportedly cost over $70M to build (excluding land), easily making it Australia's most expensive, privately owned residential home. In 2007, Altona (Australia's second most expensive house) was listed for more than AUD$50 million.

Craig-y-Mor is a non-waterfront house on Wolseley Road. Australia's second most expensive residential property, it sold in 2008 for $32.4 million. It was previously owned by Rene Rivkin, who sold it to businessman Ben Tilley in 2004 for $16.15 million. The house has has six bedrooms and a nine-car garage.

Lady Martin's Beach - Point Piper

Located in Point Piper, Wolseley Road is the most expensive residential road/street in Australia and its status stands as Australia's ultimate address, with 16 of the top 100 most expensive houses in Sydney being located on this road. Property writer Cindy Martin calculated in 2002 that the total value of the properties on the 1km waterfront section of Wolseley Road was worth, in total, AUD 720 million. More recently, Andrew Banks' property on Wolseley Road has been made an offer of $50 million which has been declined.

Houses in Point Piper are designed according to the limited availability and price of land, as well as the physical nature of the location. From the street only garages are visible; however, from the water houses dominate the landscape, towering up to 8 stories high.

Wolseley Road, Point Piper, has been named the ninth-priciest street in the world by The Wall Street Journal's Wealth Bulletin.

The paper said it had a long-standing reputation for being Australia's ultimate address.

"Properties on the road have some of the best harbour views of any city in the world, with stunning scenery across to the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House."

Wolseley Road Point Piper

Wolseley Road - The Ninth Most Expensive Street in the World

It noted the $32.4 million sale in March of the non-waterfront, hillside property Craig-y-mor reflected a price of $29,000 a square metre.

Avenue Princess Grace in Monaco, which heads the list, has recorded apartment sales of more than $US40 million ($44 million), reflecting $190,000 a square metre.

Expect to pay about $120,000 a square metre on The Peak in Hong Kong, where Severn Road is ranked as the second most expensive address in the world.

Prices on Fifth Avenue in New York City are $80,000 a square metre. Fourth place goes to Kensington Palace Gardens in London, often referred to as Billionaires' Row.

The Parisian Avenue Montaigne, near the Champs-Elysees in the 8th arrondissement, takes fifth place at $54,000 a square metre.

Moscow's Ostozhenka Street, where prices have risen by 50 per cent in the past year, ranked sixth. The winding Via Suvretta in the ski resort of St Moritz is the seventh most expensive street, followed by Carolwood Drive in Beverly Hills. Altamount Road in Mumbai made up the top 10.

Craig-y-mor's $29,000 a square metre price easily exceeded the road's previous top price of $20,000 a square metre, and its $13,000 average from the past six sales. Since the imposing house sold in March, sales on Wolseley Road have slowed and several properties have lingered on the market.

Patricia De Lorenzo, the widow of the hair product entrepreneur Vincent De Lorenzo, has been seeking bids for her house since April. It comes with stairway access to a harbourfront boatshed.

Formal offers through a Richardson & Wrench Double Bay agent, James McCowan, close next Friday. Newspaper marketing for the property has sought to lure interest from prospective buyers in China, Dubai, India and Russia.

The six-bedroom house, which was built in the early 1980s, sits on a 918-square-metre block. Based on the Craig-y-mor price, it has been valued at $26 million.

A who's who of Sydney lives in Wolseley Road, including the businessman Ben Tilley, the headhunter Andrew Banks and his wife, Andrea, the estate agent Brian White and the Westfield chairman, Frank Lowy. The publican Peter Ryan recently secured building approval for the 1444-square-metre block he bought for $16 million in 2005.

Prices at the top end of the market were holding up, said Bill Malouf, an estate agent at the office which secured the Craig-y-mor sale. "But we do need something to sell," he said.

The week's top price, an off-market $10 million sale, was secured in Tamarama. It was the beachside suburb's second sale above $10 million since June.

Wolseley Road Point Piper

Easy Money on Wolseley Road, Point Piper

With a median property price of $7,092,000, the coveted Point Piper row has long had millionaires trade property for profits that would leave the average mortgagee reeling.

But Mr Tilley, close friend of James Packer, has more reason to smile than most.

Since 2001 he has bought three homes in the coveted row, selling two for a total profit of $20million - or about $8200 a day.

His run of good fortune began in 2001 when he bought No.69, Vaynol, for $8million. Fours years later he sold it for $12million.

On the same day he paid $16.15million for Craig-y-mor, at No.73 Wolseley Road - buying it from the now deceased stockbroker Rene Rivkin. Last month he sold it for $32.4 million, setting a new Sydney record. He reaped a tax-free $16.25million in less than four years of ownership.

The same day he sold Craig-y-Mor, he bought No. 138 Wolseley Road for $22million through Christie's Great Estates agent Brad Pillinger.

"Whatever way you look at it, Tilley came out of that deal with change in his pocket," prestige valuer Simon Feilich of Dyson Austen said.

"It is unusual for these high-end properties to be bought and sold on the same day, but that's what Tilley seems to do."

Real-estate agents say Mr Tilley's new home was bought from Channel Seven media executive Bruce McWilliam, who also owns the adjoining waterfront house at No. 9 Wolseley Crescent.

Mr McWilliam had paid $18.5million for 138 Wolseley Road in November last year, before selling it to Mr Tilley for a $3.5million capital gain and 100square metres less land (which Mr McWilliam is said to have kept to build a garage).

"At this very top end of the market, the way these people do deals on their houses is extremely businesslike," said L.J. Hooker Double Bay agent Rick Nolasco, who sold Craig-y-mor for the new record price.

McGrath Real Estate founder John McGrath said prestige property had proven a solid investment.

"It's the only way to make money in this country that you don't get taxed on," he said.

Australia is one of the few countries in which capital gains on one's own home are tax free.

Wealthy business owners such as Morgan & Banks founder Andrew Banks, Aussie Home Loans founder John Symond, fashion designer Charlie Brown, Westfield founder Frank Lowy and the politician Malcolm Turnbull own homes on Wolseley Road.

"The people in this market are not affected by interest rate rises," Bill Fatouros, residential director of independent valuers Landmark White, said. "They own their properties unencumbered - that is, they don't have mortgages - so they aren't affected by poor market sentiment like the rest of us."

Craig-y-mor Point Piper

Craig-y-more

Craig-y-mor, the Point Piper non-waterfront residence, has been sold for an Australian record of $32.4 million.

It was sold by the businessman Ben Tilley, who bought the imposing Wolseley Road house for $16.15 million in 2004 from the stockbroker Rene Rivkin and his wife, Gayle. The bullish price is the third residential record in the past seven months.

Last last year the undisclosed Asian buyers had been keen to buy Villa de Mare, also on the Point Piper hillside, but negotiations with the recruitment entrepreneur Julia Ross failed to proceed to exchange.

The sale snares the record set by Tahiti, the 1966 Doug Snelling bure-style house in Vaucluse which was bought last September for $29.25 million by the South African casino tycoon Maxim Krok.

Altona, in Point Piper, held the record of $28 million from 2002 until last August when Routala, a three-storey home on a block less than half the size of Altona's, fetched $28 million. Craig-y-mor, a 1910 hillside residence, was renovated in the early 1960s by Professor Leslie Wilkinson. It is on a 1100-square-metre block with close-range views of the Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House.

The Rivkins bought Craig-y-mor from the former Patrick stevedores chief, Chris Corrigan, and his wife, Valerie, for $10.7 million in 2001.

The Corrigans bought it in 1991 for $7.14 million from the developer Gary Rothwell who had subdivided the then 2600-square-metre estate which had been the home of the mining tycoon Roy Hudson.

Caerleon, an 1885 Queen Anne revival-style residence in Bellevue Hill, fetched about $22 million in January.


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