Singaporean businessman CK Ow has offloaded his Vaucluse harbourfront mansion but the unconfirmed $67 million sale price fell short of his hopes of bettering Sydney’s $71 million record price.
There were even reports of $80 million prospects in mid-campaign marketing articles.
Despite the hoopla of attracting interest from potential buyers from as far away as New York, India and Beijing, the deal was struck with a local buyer on Sunday some eight weeks after it quietly hit the market .
The price gain, before costs, reflected 10 percent annual price growth at around $18,000 per sqm.
It formally ranks as Australia’s third priciest house sale.
Mr Ow, chairman and chief executive of Singaporean hotel owner and developer Stamford Land Corporation Limited, bought Phoenix Acres, a 3731sq m site with six-bedroom, six-bathroom home at 38B The Crescent 22 years ago for $7,001,000 from the Braham family.
Agents were hoping to better tycoon James Packer’s 3300 sqm non-harbourfront mansion, also in Vaucluse which sold in 2015 for $70 million, and in April this year John B Fairfax family’s Elaine estate on 7000 sqm in Double Bay that sold for its still standing $71 million record.
Elaine’s selling agent Ken Jacobs noted recently Sydney had returned to a “normal trophy market” in which local buyers or people with residency and local businesses have dominated the top purchases.
It was not completely clear why Ow listed the home through the overly ambitious Ray White Double Bay at a time when the Sydney market was showing demonstrable signs of fatigue.
“Sadly, I do not spend sufficient time there to enjoy this jewel of a property as my travels take me to many other far reaches of the world,” was the official word from Ow.
Fairfax’s Domain recently noted attuned agents had concluded foreign buyers had been increasingly turned off Sydney’s top-end real estate market by steeper foreign-buyer taxes along with tighter capital controls also making it harder to move funds out of China for top draw acquisitions.
Had Phoenix Acres sold to a foreign buyer it would have incurred around a $700,000 fee to FIRB, plus an extra $10 million in purchase duty and premium property duty payable on foreign buyers, along with a likely annual land tax of around $2 million.
The initial marketing advised the Sydney mansion ” is likely to break the Australian house price record .”
Post-sale agent spin quickly saw the Ow sale instead pitched as a national “waterfront” record because the $71 million Elaine is on absolute beachfront without any jetty and the $70 million hillside La Mer is a non-waterfront.
There is no confirmation on the near $67 million suggested selling price either, just an advisory “contracts have now been exchanged for a record price making it the highest residential waterfront sale of all time.”
The grand Altona in Point Piper held the mantle having fetched $61.8 million in 2016.
The Phoenix Acres site was originally a public park with a wharf ferry service to Circular Quay before the legendary publisher Ezra Norton built his mansion, then known as Albemere, in the mid-1960s.
It set a record $370,000 price when first sold in 1968, having also been the highest then build costing an estimated 250,000 pounds.
The top sales of 2017 were headed by Elaine.
The top 10 sales were in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, with one sale north of the Harbour Bridge in 11th place following the $22.45 million sale of Pick a Box Mosman waterfront estate to Vaucluse property developer boss Bryan Rose.
Ken Jacobs has an unsold Rose Bay estate listed with record setting aspirations.
Straddling five land titles with a frontage to Rose Bay beach, the 4000 square metre property belongs to Adrienne Dan, the wife of eminent Sydney neurosurgeon Professor Noel Dan.
It comes with two houses, pool and a tennis court.