Hot Property's Michael Caton triumphs at his own auction: Title Tattle

Hot Property's Michael Caton triumphs at his own auction: Title Tattle
Hot Property's Michael Caton triumphs at his own auction: Title Tattle

It was a busy night for the actor Michael Caton, sage of the TV reality show Hot Property, and his wife, Helen, when their Bondi Beach apartment (pictured above) went to auction Thursday night. It clashed with the long-overdue Hot Property series return on Channel 9.

Caton, who also stars in Channel 7’s Packed to the Rafters, secured $938,000. That represents a pretty respectable 7.9% annual appreciation since the Sir Thomas Mitchell Road apartment was bought in 2000 for $400,000. It is a top-floor two-bedroom unit that comes with study, deck and 46 square metres of floor space in the block of four known as Sunnyhurst. Sandy Kogan at Richardson & Wrench Bondi Junction was always confident she’d get the couple more than $900,000, allowing them to upgrade in the locality. Caton was as cool as a cucumber in the packed auction room, and why wouldn’t he be, given there were three bidders.

The former Hawthorn footballer-turned-sports commentator Dermott Brereton secured $1.79 million post-auction for his near-new Brighton duplex (pictured above), not far from both the Bay and Church street retail strips in the bayside suburb of Melbourne.  Hocking Stuart Brighton agent John Clarkson had $1.7 million  hopes for the two-storey, three-bedroom house with a double garage, pool and terrace. James Bidderman of the ever-present James Buyers Advocates notes that the lone bidder went inside for negotiations before the sold sticker went up. Brereton had paid $1.81 million for the property in 2009.

Title Tattle aims to tell you as soon as we know – often before it happens – so the word from Mosman is that the UBS boss Matthew Grounds may be set to upgrade to a $15 million abode. It’s all a bit speculative partly because it involves an option to purchase, rather than an outright exchange on the Kirkoswald Avenue residence overlooking Middle Harbour in Sydney. The deal’s paper trail leads back to the maiden name of Matthew’s wife, Kimberly Simpson-Morgan, perhaps to avoid any immediate link to the investment banker. And the paperwork Title Tattle has sighted gives her only contact details as care of Edney Ryan Legal.

Of course her father, Fred Simpson Morgan, worked between 1959 and his 1989 retirement at the estate agency Peter Hill First National. In late 2007 Grounds paid $11 million for their current Mosman home, and he calls the tennis player Lleyton Hewitt a neighbour at his Palm Beach weekender bought in 2005 for $4.3 million. Grounds, described as Australia’s pre-eminent investment banker in a SMH Business Day profile, is the adviser of choice to James Packer, close enough to having attended his wedding on the Cote d'Azur in June 2007.

Alistair Brae, the restored Scottish-influenced 1904 Queen Anne-style Pymble house (pictured above) on 2,032 square metres in Sydney’s leafy north shore, has been sold. Its single-level layout includes a grand reception hall, formal rooms, several family rooms, five bedrooms and three bathrooms. Verandas surround the house and overlook the gardens, pool and sandstone garage. Its LJ Hooker Pymble agent Julie Bennett had revised $3.3 million hopes in April. There were $4 million plus hopes on its initial April 2010 listing with another agent.

It was one of the first homes built in Pymble and much admired given its six-metre-long domed leadlight ceiling in the foyer. It last sold at $1.2 million in 1992. The first owners of Alistair Brae were Samuel and Annie Head, naming it to commemorate Annie’s maiden name, McAlistair.

There was no success for bestselling author Janine Shepherd when Carradon, her 1880s Burradoo, Southern Highlands weatherboard home, went to mid-week auction. Set on a 6,500-square-metre garden estate, it was passed in on a $1.8 million vendor bid. Shepherd bought the property from the comedian Billy Birmingham in 2007 for $2 million. The property was listed through Bill Bridges of Ballard Property Group inc onjunction with Bowral agent Ian Rayner  with $2 million plus hopes.  Shepherd's next book, titled The Gift of Acceptance, will be published in February.



The head of Royal Bank of Scotland's Australian equities operations, Randolf Clinton, and his wife, Sally, have spent $4.85 million to buy at Palm Beach (pictured above). They bought from the expatriate hedge fund boss Paul Henry and his wife, Belinda, who had bought the Florida Road house for $4.1 million in 2006. It was sold through LJ Hooker agent David Edwards after the Henrys spent $14 million on a Pacific Road residence.

Clinton sold his modern Mosman mansion set on a 1,671-square-metre block with a tennis court and pool last month. It had been listed with expectations of more than $10 million through LJ Hooker Mosman agents Geoff Smith and Richard Harding, but it's understood the sale figure fell somewhat short of these hopes. Title Tattle has been around long enough to remember that it was Marco and Angela Belgiorno Zegna of the Transfield empire who sold the property in 1999 to the Clintons for $2.3 million. Clinton was at ABN AMRO as head of institutional sales around that time. Set on the McLean Street with northerly views across Middle Harbour, the house was designed by Alex Popov three years ago set in gardens designed by landscape guru William Dangar.

Charles Owen, who undertook the interiors at the Bronte, Sydney and Brooklyn, New York properties of the late actor Heath Ledger, secured $1.16 million pre-auction for his Cremorne apartment with Sydney Harbour glimpses (pictured above). The three-bedroom, two-bathroom Sutherland Street unit just fell short of the $1.2 million hopes expected through Jasmine Dimitriou at Belle Property Neutral Bay. The apartment occupies 200 sq m and Owen has overseen the contemporary living refurbishment with an Armani Casa-style palette. Owen, from Charles Owen Design, and his wife, Nicolette, had paid $735,000 in 2007.  Perhaps it was his reputation but 93 groups went through the Sutherland Street apartment during the four week marketing campaign.

Melbourne had the weekend’s highest sale last weekend when a renovated Victorian house on 371 square metres in South Yarra (pictured above) sold under the hammer. It was sold for $4.85 million by Ken and Cathi Biddick, directors of Conquest Sports, which are the exclusive distributors and wholesalers of Converse in Australia and New Zealand. They had paid $1.95 million in 2002 when bought from Wayne McMaster, partner at Mallesons Stephen Jaques and often regarded at the pre-eminent intellectual property lawyer in the country, and his wife, Lyn.

It was announced on the market at $4.8 million, with competition from two bidders for the two-storey 1895 house offered by Marshall White agents Andrew Hayne and Peter Bennison.  In the prized Domain precinct, this impressive Victorian double-fronted property is trimmed with wrought-iron lace and anchored by bluestone foundations and towers. The Park Street property comes with 12 glamorous rooms, with the first floor containing five bedrooms. It had been expected to fetch $4.5 million plus.

Former 500cc motorcycle world champ Wayne Gardner has accepted $482,000 for his Darlinghurst studio investment. Set in a cosmopolitan inner-city location, it was a terrace-style studio marketed with a flexible commercial/residential zoning. It could be a boutique design studio or a dwelling, according to Ballard Property Group agent Michael Khouri.  The Liverpool Street property development was constructed by Gardner with five mixed-use commercial spaces along with parking for two cars. It was unsuccessfully listed in one line in 2008, with a $143,000 annual gross rental. The Liverpool Street site was bought for $1,325,000 in 2002.

And don’t say that Title Tattle told you, but apparently Hugh Sheridan, the Packed to the Rafters star, has been scouting around the beachside South Australia village of Carrickalinga. The NIDA-trained Logie winner has been looking to buy an investment property in the picturesque south coast district, apparently with an eye to using it eventually as a holiday home away from the highlife of Sydney. Local agents say the Adelaide-born Sheridan has "always had a soft spot" for the suburb.

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of Australia's most respected property journalists, having been at the top of the game since the early 1980s. Jonathan co-founded the property industry website Property Observer and has written for national and international publications.

Community Discussion

Be the first one to comment on this article
What would you like to say about this project?