Beachfront Bronte house gains $4.8 million in 15 months

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Beachfront Bronte house gains $4.8 million in 15 months

By Carmen Forward and Lucy Macken

Sydney’s top property sale for the weekend was a Bronte house opposite the beach that sold for about $22.5 million thanks to a slew of pre-auction offers.

Ray White Double Bay’s Elliott Placks had listed 12 Bronte Marine Drive with a guide of $20 million on behalf of Ray White Capital’s chief executive George Ajaka ahead of an auction that was scheduled for next weekend.

The result is a jump in value of 27 per cent in the 15 months since Ajaka purchased the house for $17.7 million.

In April last year when the same house went to auction Ajaka was one of four buyers to compete for the property, then sold by F45 co-founder Rob Deutsch with a guide of $17.5 million. There have been no material improvements to the house since Ajaka purchased it.

The four-bedroom house is set on 422 square metres, which equates to more than $53,000 per square metre.


It was one of 636 homes scheduled to go under the hammer in Sydney on the weekend. By evening, Domain Group recorded a preliminary auction clearance rate of 72.2 per cent from 410 reported results, while 69 auctions were withdrawn. Withdrawn auctions are counted as unsold properties when calculating the clearance rate.

In Drummoyne, a three-bedroom ground-level apartment in a boutique block of four sold for $4,015,000.

The luxury waterfront is so close to the bay that waves can be heard lapping at the water’s edge from the balcony. The auction was held at 4.30 pm at high tide as the sunset cast a golden glow across the water at 1/353 Victoria Place.


Three people registered to bid and all actively took part in the auction. Bidding opened at $3.5 million and several $50,000 bids were placed. The $3.7 million guide was passed and the stride shortened until the hammer fell at $4,015,000.

Selling agent Matt Ward from McGrath Hunters Hill declined to share the reserve but said the vendor was hopeful to get over $4 million. The buyer is from the inner west.

“The uniqueness of our property was that we were on the lowest level. So we were almost sitting on a boat on top of the water. The apartment is right at the water’s edge,” he said.

Ward said waterfront properties for sale are rare and always attract good interest. “Whether they be luxurious apartments or homes, whenever [waterfronts] come up for sale, it can be months or longer before something similar comes onto the market. If you’re selling nice property on the water, it still favours sellers.”

The unit last traded for $1.7 million in 2006, records show.

A three-bedroom house in Rose Bay sold for $4.31 million to an Australian family based in Hong Kong represented by a buyers’ agent. The family has not seen the property at 28A Blake Street in person.

Five people registered and three actively bid on the two-storey home with expansive city views guided at $4 million. Bidding opened below the guide, at $3.6 million. Bids ranging from $100,000 all the way down to $1000 were made over thirty-five minutes.

Selling agent Clay Brodie from Ray White Woollahra/Paddington declined to share the exact reserve but said it was circa $4 million. The original owner had passed away and the proceeds of the property sale were to be distributed to multiple charities including St Vincent’s Hospital.


“The whole street pretty much came to watch the auction, the guy that owned it was very well-renowned in the street,” he said.

Brodie said since COVID there had been an influx of expats returning to Australia, looking for more stability.

AMP chief economist Shane Oliver said the clearance rate of 72.2 per cent could be due to talk that interest rates are close to the top.

Oliver said there has been a noteworthy sharp rising in listings since July.

“There [have] been some anecdotes that a lot of pickup has been due to investors that might also be struggling with the higher interest rates,” he said.

“We’re seeing a pickup in immigration, this year probably going to be around 400,000 people, [which] will lead to more demand for housing. And surely a lot of it goes into rental markets. But that may be displacing people who are in the rental market, into the homebuyer market.”

In Springwood, an ultra-private Blue Mountain weekender located within the National Park at 117 Farm Road sold well above its $820,000 guide for $1,135,000.

The property was off-grid and built by lawyer, inventor and music technology expert Peter Vogel in 1981. The buyer was an archaeologist who had studied in the Blue Mountains area.

Selling agent Stewart Lamont from McGrath Estate Agents Lower Blue Mountains said the surrounding National Park and adjacent Crown Land meant the nearest neighbour was a kilometre away.

“But still a 10-minute drive to Springwood village with all the shops and cafes, the views out the back are just incredible. It’s a bit of a unicorn,” he said.

In Warrawee a three-bedroom house at 3 Hastings Road sold for $4,055,000.

Selling agent Donna Ferris from Marshall.Chan.Yahl North Shore said the guide was $3 million to $3.3 million and the reserve was in line with that.

“It was really about location,” she said. “Easy walk to station, easy walk to schools, nice, quiet street, that end of Hastings doesn’t have a conservation or heritage restriction on it, whereas the other one does.”

In Ryde, a three-bedroom home marketed as a potential knockdown sold to a young expectant couple for $2.79 million.

Selling agent George Agostino from McGrath Ryde said the main attraction of 10 Princes Street was the land size and convenient location.

“Under Ryde Council, you can build a duplex on a 15-metre frontage with a minimum of 500 square metres. This one had an 18-metre frontage so it was wider than the norm, 664 square metres.”


An earlier version of this story misstated the frontage of 10 Princes Street, Ryde. It is 18 metres.

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