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As another rain bomb threatens to blow Sydney all the way to Atlantis, it’s a good time to be reminded even if the harbour city did slide into the Pacific, whatever scrap of Hawkesbury sandstone was left jutting from the ocean would still be spruiked by real estate agents as “absolute waterfront”.
Now slithering happily into its third season on Amazon Prime, Luxe Listings Sydney comes across as a zirconia-encrusted time capsule harking back several interest rate rises ago when the property market was a sellers’ paradise.
This unsustainable hothouse has our lounge of high-end brokers thriving and they’re fairly jumping out of their spray-tanned skins to seal the next eye-watering deal for their cashed-up clients.
No doubt hard-working and professional, these creatures still come across as fast-food chain store managers encased in leased European cars who’ll never really reach the station to which they so desperately aspire. They pivot from one eastern suburbs pile to the next, swear gratuitously into their hands-free phones and spout the kind of empty industry aphorisms which leave the rest of us thinking “I’m pretty sure I could do that”.
This suspicion is only reinforced when one of them points to a timber ceiling shrieking, “Look at that roof, that roof is insane!”
There is something of a thread running through this season and that is to help beloved Aussie songbird Delta Goodrem find a property so she can get to work on her new album.
In the interest of good taste and good music, this mission should, of course, be aborted at all costs but Delta is just so nice you do find yourself hoping she does find that perfect creative sanctuary and wouldn’t it be great if Celine Dion happened to be living in a granny flat next door, so the pair could finally collaborate on an unctuous, white-bread masterpiece and swap notes on fashion and maybe even DNA?
If there is an Australian reality TV hierarchy (and there is) with Channel Nine’s The Block at the top and Channel 10’s The Real Love Boat scraping the bottom of the barrel, Luxe Listings Sydney occupies the middle ground. This is The Real Housewives of Melbourne territory, a lukewarm pelagic zone where we go to gorge mindlessly on fattening entertainment before lumbering off like whales with bellies bloated with stupid krill.
Luxe Listings Sydney, does, however, differ from many of its contemporaries because just when we have a had a gutful of its human line-up, we get to wallow in the real estate, the reason we’re putting up with all this blingy nonsense in the first place.
Even in the relentless rain, stunning property is where the emerald city truly shines and our jaws drop as the agents give us the keys to pads in Paddington, Bellevue Hill, Clovelly and Point Piper.
As we head to a potential holiday home only 45 minutes out of the city, we’re reminded sagely by someone on site who could be an agent, or maybe just a squatter, “Palm Beach is our answer to The Hamptons in New York.”
No doubt this is true and going by that Bryan Brown movie, Palm Beach should also be our candidate for the next pandemic, but that’s just the little green monster talking, a voice hard to silence when watching Luxe Listings Sydney.
Apart from wishing delightful “Dural girl” Delta all the very best, it’s hard to not feel a little jealous watching this show because we all know sheer luck and circumstance rather than brains and toil have led Sydney property owners to make out like bandits over the past couple of decades.
These people attend auctions and throw about the kind of incremental bids that would see off our own stubborn mortgages in a heartbeat and as we watch this alternative universe only a few hours up the highway fold in on itself, we’re reminded of at least one ironclad real estate aphorism that’s been bandied about for generations: “Never sell in Sydney”.
This lurking adage seems to inform a moment of clarity for one of our agents lamenting the abrupt withdrawal of a mansion from his portfolio.
“This is the problem right now,” he barks into his steering wheel.
“You sell your house and get heaps of money – where the hell do you go?”
The regions, presumably.
Good luck buying that first home.
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