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Why no one wants to keep this $22 million Point Piper block

This Point Piper block of land has sold again. Source: Domain
This Point Piper block of land has sold again. Source: Domain

The 740-square metre pile of rocks in Sydney’s prestigious Point Piper has sold for the second time this year.

While the buyer’s identity and purchase price have not been revealed, real estate agents LJ Hooker Double Bay was seeking expressions of interest in the range of $22 million to $25 million.

The previous owners purchased the harbourside block from Shanghai-based shipping magnate heir, Hugh Huang, for $22.5 million in January this year.

But the property had already changed hands multiple times before then: Huang purchased the Wolsely Road then-residence for $14.35 million in 2013 from Sydney FC chairman Scott Barlow.

Barlow purchased it from hotelier Damien Reed in 2010, who bought the home from orthopaedic surgeon Lawrence Kohan in 2004.

But the question remains, why doesn’t anyone want to keep this house?

One theory is climate change.

A study conducted by Climate Risk earlier this year found some suburbs in Australia would become ‘uninsurable’ if nothing is done to stop the effects of climate change. ‘Uninsurable’ is defined as insurers refusing to offer cover or premiums being unaffordable.

In Sydney, Point Piper is expected to be one of the high-risk areas.

A report released by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found rising sea levels will threaten low-lying coastal cities.

Lead author of the report, Nerilie Abram, said by 2050, more than one billion people will live on coastal land which is less than 10 metres above sea level – and they will be exposed to extreme flooding and storm surges from more intense tropical cyclones.

“Australia's coastal cities and communities can expect to experience what was previously a once-in-a-century extreme coastal flooding event at least once every year by the middle of this century – in many cases much more frequently,” Abram said in a statement.

Another theory is the lack of interest in trophy homes.

Domain research analyst Eliza Owen told Yahoo Finance the trophy market was on track to record the worst run of big-ticket sales since 2012, with only a handful of $20 million-plus sales.

“In this very top end of the market, there's an idea that it is more susceptible to economic uncertainty and economic shock,” she said.

“That's because people who buy these very high end homes potentially more affected. They might be business leaders, or they might have a stake in share markets.”

“With everything that's happening with the US-China trade war at the moment, people may be hesitant to make big purchasing decisions while there's this threat to business around tariffs and imports and things like that.”

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