The Fairfax family member behind this year's most extraordinary auction result
Who was the bullish $5.25 million buyer of the Woollahra weatherboard of Preston Motors directors Martina and Peter Parker? It’s a good question and one being asked by plenty of agents given that every Woollahra home owner now seems to think their house is worth $5 million.
Blame Sir Warwick Fairfax’s daughter Annalise Thomas, who was the rumoured buyer who beat off the many other unreasonable offers on the weatherboard, three-bedroom house.
Even given an extensive renovation by architect Jake Dowse, the sale of the 245 square metre property left agents stunned, particularly given Thomas was in good company in pushing the result well above the original guide of $4 million.
A well-placed source says Thomas wasn’t even in the room when it sold through Sotheby’s Harriet France and Michael Pallier, but sent a representative to go head-to-head with a handful of other registered buyers.
It’s worth noting the Spicer Street residence last traded in the bullish market of 2008 for $2.3 million.
And now just to add fuel to the rumoured purchase by Thomas comes the campaign to sell her nearby terrace on Ocean Street.
Details on Thomas’ home are almost as scant as her purchase, but the beautifully presented three-bedroom residence is widely expected to hit its $3.6 million guide at its September 6 auction listed through Georgia Cleary, of Bradfield Cleary.
One of five modern terraces in the complex, records show it last traded in 2011 for $2.99 million when sold by film and television producer Peter Faiman, AM, and his wife Jennifer Jobson-Faiman.
Still on the bullish buyer antics of the east, corporate adviser Jamie Garis and his wife Tamara have emerged as the $8.5 million buyer of the Elizabeth Bay penthouse of mining magnate Stephen Turner and his wife Phi Phi.
The harbour-front apartment sold in July after only four days on the market for bang on its asking price through Jason Boon, of Richardson & Wrench Elizabeth Bay.
It was formerly three art deco apartments atop the Grandview building that were purchased for $3.65 million and converted into a six-bedroom spread by architect Anthony Solomon, with a self-contained apartment on the building’s ground floor as an au pair residence or a gym.
Garis has had a busy time in recent years when not on gardening leave. Following his departure from Greenhill advisory he then joined with fellow corporate heavyweights Simon Mordant and Ron Malek to set up global advisory Luminis Partners last year.
Patience paid off handsomely for race horse breeder and luxury car dealer George Altomonte this week when his Kirribilli pad sold for about $8 million.
First listed in 2011 following his purchase of a glamorous pad in Darling Point for $2.3 million, Altomonte’s Kirribilli Grande spread has been an on-again, off-again listing since then, most recently with a guide of $8 million to $8.5 million through McGrath’s David Howe and Nigel Mukhi.
Howe was gagged by confidentiality orders from disclosing the sale price, but it sold in the guide, which is almost double the $4.25 million the Wahroonga-based Altomonte paid for it in 2001.
Former Marrickville mayor Barry Cotter has listed his Victorian-era terrace in Camperdown, Inverteil, 25 years after he purchased it for $220,000.
Long since renovated and restored, the two-storey property has a $1.9 million guide ahead of the September 24 auction through Raine & Horne Petersham’s Frederico Fraga-Matos.
Cotter, a long-time Labor stalwart who funds a prize for local children at his old alma mater Newtown High School (fittingly called the Cotter Prize), retired in 2008 after 21 years at Marrickville Council, 13 of which were as mayor.
A very good year
Vintner Graham Cranswick-Smith has wasted no time swapping his lower north shore spread for one in Woolloomooloo. Records show the head of Cranswick Wines has paid $5.15 million for The Anchorage penthouse, which was listed by Brad Caldwell-Eyles, of 1st City Double Bay, on behalf of Fivex Commercial Property’s Joshua Berger.
The luxury purchase follows Cranswick-Smith’s pre-auction sale of his Milsons Point apartment for $3.8 million through McGrath’s Nigel Mukhi.
Cranswick-Smith only bought his former Mirvac-built spread a year earlier for $3.58 million after he’d vacated his nearby Lavender Bay landmark home Villa Medusa for $8 million to tech guru Daniel Petre and his wife Carolyn.
In Killara, the Federation residence, Duncraigie, heads up the slim pickings on offer on the upper north shore with a $3.5 million asking price. The 1908-built property on 1660 square metres is the long-time home of Gail and Greg Johnson, the latter of whom was awarded an Order of Australia medal in 2007 for helping to establish the Australian International School in Singapore.
Johnson, also known as the brother of Urban Taskforce chief Chris Johnson, bought the property in 1987 for $595,000 when sold by former Supreme Court judge John Clarke, QC and his wife Rosemary.
Featuring a north-facing landscaped garden, swimming pool and separate cabana, it goes to auction on September 17 through Jill Smith, of Savills Cordeau Marshall.
Hitting the market in time for the start of the spring selling season is the Bellevue Hill home of CBRE’s executive managing director Scott Gray-Spencer.
Gray-Spencer, a veteran of the commercial and capital markets, has owned the Suttie Road property since 2007 when it was sold for $5.45 million.
Ray White Double Bay’s James Keenan is asking $6.5 million for the 880 square metre residence with a swimming pool.
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