Money Property ‘Most famous block in Australia’ fails to sell at auction
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‘Most famous block in Australia’ fails to sell at auction

The Taj on Swan block was previously owned by flamboyant fertiliser tycoons, the Oswal family.
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The infamous ‘Taj on Swan’ trophy estate in the Perth suburb of Peppermint Grove has failed to sell at auction on Saturday despite being billed as the country’s ‘most famous block of land’.

The block was once the home-building block of flamboyant billionaire tycoons, Pankaj and Radhika Oswal.

The top bid at auction was $15.6 million, with three of the five registered parties competing for the prize parcel.

Two years ago there were $30 million hopes for the prestigious Perth offering, after the partially built so-called Taj on Swan mansion was demolished under council orders.

The 6582-square-metre site, which could fit six homes, had reduced $19.5 million hopes last year.

The mansion with Swan River views sat unfinished after the Oswals quit Australia in 2010 amid a dispute with bankers about the wind up and sale of their fertiliser business. 

The incomplete ‘Taj on Swan’ mansion was bulldozed in 2016. Photo: AAP

The Oswal family had controlled WA’s $700 million Burrup Fertilisers gas-processing plant.

Marketed as “the most famous block in Australia”, the 2 Bay View Road site was listed through Ray White agent Vivien Yap in conjunction with Sotheby’s agent Graham Bowie

The Oswals paid $22.7 million in 2007 then started construction a year later on a “two-storey, Indian-infused luxury residence”. 

The incredible 42-hectare paradise that no one will buy

On Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, an equestrian property was passed in after the bidding stopped at $5.6 million.

Dean Shannon, the former chief of Ladbrokes Australia and now the managing director of the Neds gambling website, and his wife Kelly, who shares his love of horses, failed to find a buyer.

The bidding at the Sunday onsite auction stopped at $5.6 million for the 42-hectare Maleny holding, marketed as one of Australia’s most impressive equestrian facilities, located an hour from the Doomben race track.

Montana Park failed to attract an offer greater than what its owners paid. They have carried out significant improvements to the property.

The stable complex is the focal point as it features 10 double-sized broodmare boxes, two stallion boxes, wash bays, a vet room, horse scales, tack room, rug room and feed room.

There’s 45 post-and-rail paddocks and two Olympic-size dressage arenas.

The luxury is not just for horses, as the main residence spans a vast 1800 square metres and has five bedrooms, eight bathrooms, a steam room, massage room and dressing rooms.

The entertaining spaces have views of the Glass House Mountains.

Its equestrian facilities might be its major selling point, but the home is also stunning.

Ray White Buderim agents Lew Pottinger and Nathan Nicholl marketed the equine complex with its own website.

Since Mr Shannon bought Montana Park in 2010 for $7 million he more than doubled the size of the original residence and covered one of the two showjumping arenas.

“Montana Park is a place we love to call home, however my current business commitments with the launch, and now international expansion of Neds have seen me spend more time in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast, with less opportunity to enjoy all this home has to offer,” he said before the auction.

Around the country

The final week of July saw 1534 homes taken to auction across the combined capital cities, returning a preliminary auction clearance rate of 58.4 per cent.

Although auction volumes are slowly starting to pick up across the capital cities, CoreLogic auction analyst Kevin Brogan noted current volumes remain lower than this time last year when 1987 auctions were held and a clearance rate of 68.7 per cent was recorded.

There were 803 auctions held in Melbourne with a preliminary clearance rate of 60.3 per cent. Last weekend 613 homes went under the hammer, returning a final clearance rate of 59.9 per cent. 

Over the same week last year, 956 auctions were held across the city and a clearance rate of 75.6 per cent was recorded.

Weekend sales included the Bentleigh East of the Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge and his wife Dana. Selling their home of almost 25 years, the 2016 AFL premiership coach secured an undisclosed post-auction sale having had price hopes of $1.4 million to $1.5 million through Nick Johnstone Real Estate director Nick Johnstone.

Sydney was host to 465 auctions, with preliminary results showing a clearance rate of 56.6 per cent. 

Last week, the final auction clearance rate for Sydney was 55.2 per cent across 407 auctions, after the previous week saw the clearance rate drop to just 46.9 per cent. 

Sydney had the nation’s highest notified sale when 21 Waimea Road, Lindfield sold for $3,290,000.

The three bedroom 1905 home had been last sold six decades ago. 

The highest preliminary clearance rate was in Canberra, where 72.2 per cent of the 36 reported auctions were successful. Canberra was the only mainland capital city to record a weekend fall in auction volumes.

Jonathan Chancellor is editor at large at Property Observer.

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