In Sydney’s bluest of blue-chip markets, Bellevue Hill, a circa $28 million sale and a $38 million listing show that trophy hunters are seeking some bigger, architect-designed chimneys for Santa Claus come this festive season.
The deals are part of some runaway sales in the 2023 postcode, which sits in the rarefied air overlooking Sydney Harbour between Double Bay and Rose Bay in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.
This 1300-square-metre block used to belong to the Leura estate.  
First to Victoria Road where the five-bedroom home belonging to local vendor Heidi Vanderwerff has sold for an undisclosed sum, understood to be about $28 million.
The property – previously owned by Christie Corporate’s Robert Christie – has panoramic harbour views, a Japanese garden with a waterfall plus a heated pool, spa and gym.
The 1300-square-metre landholding – which last traded for $7.7 million in 2006 – was once part of Bellevue Hill’s Leura estate, and was sold by Ray White Double Bay’s Alan Fettes and Elliott Placks.
Staying in Bellevue Hill where auto repair garage owners Steve and Carmen Davidson have listed their Tuscan-style mansion with $38 million hopes.
If this hefty guide is achieved, it’s a sign of the enduring strength of the top end, given they paid $28.5 million for the Espie Dods-designed mansion on 1400 square metres in December 2021.
This Bellevue Hill home designed by architect Espie Dodds has hit the prestige market at $38 million.  
However, the circa $10 million price increase isn’t down to the market uplift alone, given the Davidsons – who own the Bondi Junction Auto Services garage – have extensively renovated the property.
Sitting on a 1430-square metre block, the Mediterranean-inspired mansion features a mosaic-tiled pool, loggia, marble kitchen, music room and bespoke media room with stage.
The couple purchased the property from Antoinette Albert, of the famed Albert music family, who had owned the Ginahgulla Road estate for more than four decades, after Mrs Albert’s late husband, Ted Albert – the son of Sir Alexis Albert – bought it for $825,000 in 1982.
Selling agent Raine & Horne’s James Nixon – who is co-listing the home with Laing and Simmons’ D’Leanne Lewis – said that although the vendors were happy to stay, they had been approached by several agents and had decided to capitalise on the strength of the prestige market.
The Davidsons Bellevue Hill offering sits on 1400 square metres in one of the suburb’s best streets.  
“Given this property’s rich history with the Albert family, the fact it’s on over 1400 square metres and the recent renovation has meant the vendors have decided to list, given so many agents have been knocking at their door,” Mr Nixon said.
Prestige buyer’s agent Simon Cohen, of Cohen Handler, says the $9.5 million price tag jump in two years isn’t a stretch, given the recent sales activity in Bellevue Hill.
Mr Cohen said “wild” demand from Chinese buyers was pushing prices to new heights.
“We’ve seen a surge in buyers that don’t understand the value of property and are paying anything to get a foothold in the market, and it’s increasingly frustrating to see people pay such top dollar because it’s creating delusional vendors,” Mr Cohen said. “It’s just crazy.”
Mr Cohen cited examples, including the recent sale of the Fairweather Street home of Joe Fayyad, the local chief executive of Bank of America, and wife Fiona. The five-bedroom, four-bathroom home was sold by TRG’s Oliver Lavers for $21 million – more than $7 million above its initial $13.8 million guide.
He also pointed to another recent sale on Benelong Crescent – which fetched about $14 million. The property had last traded for $7.05 million in 2020. It was sold by TRG founder Gavin Rubinstein.
Other recent big-ticket trades include the $40 million September sale of Hunter Valley farmers Camilla and Robert Cropper’s Kambala Road home, the $61.5 million sale of flower wholesaler Leo Lynch’s home next door, and Mr Lynch’s subsequent $70 million purchase of historic Leura estate.
Mr Cohen said buyers hoping to snag a trophy home before Christmas had less than a month to do so, because “by December 15, everything shuts down”.
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