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“Alex” Chao Duan has made his mark on the upper north shore’s high-end housing market as Warrawee’s recent $20.5 million buyer.
Duan’s purchase of the home of commercial property businessman John Virgona and his wife Anna stands out in the local prestige books not only because it sets a record, but it is the first sale to officially crack the area’s $20 million trophy home range.
The home of Anna and John Virgona was redesigned by Playoust Churcher Architects before it sold for a record high.Credit: Domain
But not much is known about the man who has finally elevated the upper north shore’s top housing market to rarefied trophy home status.
The buyer’s agent who represented Duan in the deal made it clear his client did not want to discuss his business or property interests in Australia, and selling agent C21’s Gary Ward would say even less.
Corporate records are more forthcoming. Duan is a director of Chinese smartphone Oppo’s Australian distributor, OMC Electronics, formerly known as Oppo China-Australia.
By happy coincidence, Duan shares the same surname as Oppo founder Duan Yongping, the reclusive billionaire whose twin smartphone brands Oppo and Vivo give Apple a run for its money in China.
But Oppo is not offering so much competition in the Australian smartphone market, of late.
OMC’s most recent annual report states that the company incurred a net loss of $8.2 million last financial year and the company’s liabilities exceed total assets by $48 million.
Not that that is cramping Duan’s style. He settled on his Warrawee residence with no need for a mortgage.
Sydney’s corporate leaders are not waiting for the traditional spring selling season to kick off their property plays. Instead, it’s sell, buy or settle now before the market makes any definitive moves in the second half of the year.
The Clifton Gardens home of Meredith Hellicar overlooks Chowder Bay.Credit: Domain
Take Merryck & Co chair Meredith Hellicar, the former James Hardie chair, who with her husband David Foster has set a July 31 expressions of interest deadline on their Mosman home of the past 30 years.
Meredith Hellicar is executive chair at Merryck & Co.Credit: Renee Nowytarger
Purchased for $1.1 million in 1993, the four-bedroom house in Clifton Gardens returns to the market with De Brennan’s Jonathon De Brennan. There is no official guide yet, but expectations are about $10 million.
Former Dow Chemical boss Andrew Liveris and his wife Paula have settled on their new Bellevue Hill home, paying $25 million for the house known as Carrabah by plastic surgeon Robert Drielsma and his anaesthetist wife Debbie Hong.
It comes as the Liveris family last week celebrated the nuptials of son Anthony and Amelia MacKinnon on the Greek Island of Kastellorizo.
The Bellevue Hill residence Carrabah bought by Andrew and Paula Liveris.Credit: Domain
Liveris, president of the 2032 Brisbane Olympics Committee, has been based in Point Piper since their return to Sydney from the US in 2016, having purchased an $8.5 million pad from developer Phillip George at the time.
Andrew Liveris is the president of the 2032 Brisbane Olympics Committee.Credit: Peter Wallis
Mike Sneesby, chief executive of Nine (owner of this masthead) is another high-profile name to emerge from property trades this week. He’s purchased designer digs in Randwick for about $10 million after it was listed by BresicWhitney’s Maclay Longhurst.
Investec chief Milton Samios and his interior designer wife Jacci have pocketed $20.5 million for their Georgian-style home in Rose Bay from Fan Yanhong.
The Georgian-style residence in Rose Bay was redesigned by architect Michael Suttor before being purchased by Milton and Jacci Samios.Credit: Domain
The couple purchased the Kent Road property in 2015 for $6.5 million, and it was more recently renovated by Molnar Architects with Jacci’s Jacket Curated interiors firm before being sold by Ray White Double Bay’s Ashley Bierman and Thomas Popple.
David Southon co-founded Charter Hall and is now executive chairman of property funds management group Aliro.Credit: Peter Braig
Charter Hall co-founder David Southon and his wife Michele have a new Palm Beach weekender picked up from tech billionaire Robin Khuda.
The sale price remains undisclosed by LJ Hooker’s Peter Robinson, but given a guide of $8 million it looks to have been a lucrative investment for the AirTrunk founder.
Khuda purchased it in 2021 for $5.8 million, settled on it a year later, and never acted on his development approval for a Mathieson Architects-designed house.
The Victorian terrace in Woollahra was purchased by Skipp Williamson after 13 days on the market.Credit: Domain
And businesswoman Skipp Williamson is cashing in her Sydney base, listing the Woollahra terrace with a $7.5 million guide.
Skipp Williamson sold her Toorak home last year for $26 million to Afterpay’s Anthony Eisen.Credit: Arsineh Houspian
The founder of management consultancy Partners in Performance paid what was billed as a big price of $6 million back in the pre-pandemic market of 2019 from Clayton Utz partner Scott Grahame.
The Agency’s Ben Collier has scheduled a July 29 auction.
The listing follows the sale of Williamson’s home in Toorak last year for $26 million to Samantha Eisen, the wife of Afterpay’s Anthony Eisen.
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