Jonathan Chancellor
Updated 16 Feb 2023, 4:18pm
First published 16 Feb 2023, 12:00pm
Red Hot Chili Peppers bass player Michael ‘Flea’ Balzary has parted with his long-time Aussie beach home.
The longtime NSW far south coast retreat of Michael “Flea” Balzary, the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ bass player, was sold at its sunny onsite auction on Saturday with the sound of the ocean in the background.
The bushland beachside Congo house, which sits on a 2946sq m holding between the Eurobodalla National Park and the sand, fetched $2,475,000. The home had a $3m price guide, but was called on the market when one of the two bidders raised their offer from $2.44m.
It sold to a local.
Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers has sold his south coast home. Photo Patrick Gorbunovs / Northern Star
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Its auction coincided with the band’s Australian tour, which concludes on Sunday night. But Balzary was absent from the auction, being in Perth for the gig, before the band tours overseas until July.
His father, Mick, was his representative who adjusted the reserve pricing paperwork.
Many of the 80-strong crowd had turned up in the hope of seeing Balzary and his new pink, purple, green and yellow hair colouring, which he had when appearing at his hometown Melbourne concert midweek.
The home at Moruya on the far south coast of NSW sold for above $2.4 million. Picture: LJ Hooker
Auctioneer Ben Mitchell flew from Sydney into Moruya to conduct the auction amid his busy schedule.
The house, designed by New Zealand architect Malcolm Cheadle and Flea, had been stripped of his personal effects. The five-bedroom, three-bathroom house comes with bedroom pavilions and a multipurpose sports court. The pair designed the roof exterior to represent a cuttlefish.
It is 300km south of Sydney and 180km southeast of Canberra.
James Hamilton of LJ Hooker listed the property, which had been a $100,000 building block on its 1992 purchase.
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Flea was instrumental in helping design the house alongside New Zealand architect Malcolm Cheadle. Picture: LJ Hooker
Its latest official land valuation was $1.65m, after a near 100 per cent annual jump from its previous $853,000 annual land valuation, reflecting the typical sky-high back-of-an-envelope revisions by the state Valuer-General along the coast through Eurobodalla and the Shoalhaven.
The property’s rolling three-year averaging – with the initial year at $740,000 – would trigger an initial $1900 land tax as a holiday home.
Part of the 8-strong crowd that attended the auction. Picture: Jonathan Chancellor.
There was no tax prospect until this year’s huge jump.
Locals wonder how the valuations were arrived at, since Congo’s highest sale last year was $1.28m for a 2ha holding. Its highest price was $2.6m in 2020 for a 2005-built house on 4100sq m, three doors along.
The total land value for the vast south coast region increased 38 per cent between July 1, 2021 and July 1, 2022 from $155bn to $214bn, with residential land values having increased in the Eurobodalla Shire by 61 per cent.
Meanwhile, the northern road into Congo remains shut.
It seems the road in part runs through private property. It has been closed to the public following concerns raised by the landowner about the risk of injury to the public and the potential liability resting with the landowner.
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