In a week that saw model Jennifer Hawkins cash in on her North Curl Curl, beach-front home, the mansion once owned by Russell Crowe and the Murdoch family has hit the market.
Former Miss Universe Hawkins and her builder husband Jake Wall sold their Koichi Takada-designed five-bedroom, three-bathroom home in a twilight auction Thursday for $5.235 million – exceeding the listing’s $4.8 million expectations.
The sale contributed to a slight increase in Sydney’s preliminary auction clearance rate to 82.1 per cent, up from last week’s 80.5 per cent. The rate was in stark contrast to the 58 per cent of this time last year.
North Curl Curl’s Northern Beaches sub-region showed the strongest performance with 92 per cent of the 111 properties reported sold over the past week.
For Sydney buyers who prefer the Harbour to the sea, they can still snap up actor Crowe’s former Elizabeth Bay pad, Berthong, which was quietly listed through Christie’s International.
The 1880s villa and the neighbouring Boomerang are now both for sale by different vendors. They were once both owned by the Albert family.
Berthong, once part of the orchard of colonial secretary Alexander Macleay, carries a price tag of between $37 million and $40 million.
For a time Berthong was owned by the late advertising guru Michael Ball, who sold it in 1995 to News Corp executive Lachlan Murdoch, who in turn sold it to Crowe for $9.25 million in 2001.
Still in Sydney, a likely $16 million private treaty sale in Mosman headlined the nation’s weekend property sales.
It was the redundant Federation Queen Anne style home of the London-based infrastructure investment adviser, Peter Hofbauer.
The six-bedroom 1910 Bradleys Head Road trophy home on 2244 sqm was listed only late last month.
Offers were not due for another 20 days, but it was was snapped up Friday night.
It came with an asking price of between $15.5 million and $16.5 million through McGrath agents Michael Rava and Michael Coombs.
The top auction sales reported in Melbourne and Sydney were also both secured early in their pre-auction marketing.
A Cronulla beachfront property sold well ahead of its scheduled weekend auction at $5.25 million on October 25.
The five-bedroom, five-bathroom bayside home sits on a near-level 1340sqm block with 24m width on the water.
It last sold at $4.3 million in 2011.
The sale of Seaholme on the bay near Melbourne’s Altona at $2.888 million was secured October 20.
The Jon Fredrick and Clayton Brown architecturally designed, four-bedroom home with study had a prominent street facade since it was built around 10 years ago.
The 13 Esplanade, Seaholme, was initially listed in May with $2.9 million hopes.
Auction activity has continued to rise through into the final month of spring, however the number of auctions remained well below the highs recorded a year ago.
The preliminary national clearance rate was 77.5 per cent across 2490 reported auction results, according to CoreLogic.
This was higher than last week’s final clearance rate of 74.4 per cent, with auction volumes increasing compared to the 2253 capital city auctions reported last week.
Over the corresponding week last year, auctions volumes were significantly higher with 2947 auctions reported and a 61 per cent clearance rate.
The jump in success rate over the past week was especially evident in Melbourne which reported an 80.5 per cent clearance rate, up from the previous week’s 77.5 per cent.
There was a bigger jump in the Canberra clearance rate. Across Canberra a total of 113 auctions were held this week, compared to 93 last week and 122 at the same time last year. Canberra’s preliminary clearance rate of 79.5 per cent was up on the 70 per cent in the previous week.
Sydney’s 82.1 per cent was the fourth week-on-week reporting above 80 per cent, up from 80 percent, although the total 1063 auctions scheduled fell just below last week’s 1100.
Domain chief economist Dr Andrew Wilson suggests the Sydney market was beginning to ease “reflecting more choice for buyers.
“With more robust listing numbers also set for coming weekends” Dr Wilson said.
The cheapest sale across was nation was $230,000 in Melbourne’s St Kilda for a renovated studio apartment.
The price guidance had been $200,000 to $230,000 for the $255 a week rental.
The 28sqm 1965-built 10/3 Dalgety Street offering came with lockup garage.
It had been initially listed in May with $270,000 hopes having last sold at $229,000 in 2012.
Melbourne also had the cheapest house sold over the weekend which was $272,500 at Melton South.
The 43 Bernard Drive home last sold at $160,000 in 2003.
The auction price guidance was $219,000 to $239,000 on the 1970-built three bedroom home.
Jonathan Chancellor is editor-at-large at Property Observer.