Macquarie's Nicholas Moore gives momentum to the Mosman mansion merry-go-round

The merchant bankers’ Mosman merry-go-round is back in motion after its virtual paralysis following the global financial crisis and its aftershocks.

And it's the Macquarie Bank boss Nicholas Moore and wife Helen who've signalled the prestigious suburb still has some internal movement. They are soon to upgrade to a $13 million contemporary harbourfront home on MiddleHarbour, having lived elsewhere in a Federation Mosman house that cost just over $1 million in 1991.

Their new home had been on the market for three years. The seller was Shane Smyth, CEO of Cover More Insurance, who renovated after paying $9.2 million in 2007, and then listed it with $14 million-plus hopes.

The ongoing decline in bonuses among merchant bankers and financial sector executives, and share options that are lapsing due to the weak sharemarket have all seriously impacted on the prestige property market.

Until the global financial crisis, Mosman vendors enjoyed the home-buying spree that followed, like clockwork, the cash-dominated bonuses.

But the bonus-inspired property purchases disappeared during the depths of the 2008 and 2009 financial crisis, and the after-effects lingered until recently.

Getting a competitive buying interest for the top-end listings has proved a challenge for Mosman's double-digit-million market, although the Moore purchase and another sale involved keen underbidding from separate Chinese buying interests.

Property Observer revealed earlier this year it was a Chinese buyer who topped recent Mosman sales, spending $20 million on retired car dealer Laurie Sutton’s 5154-square-metre Bay Street Mosman holding – the suburb's largest harbourfront estate. It was bought by Ying Li.

The residence, which had been the Suttons' home for almost 35 years, was bought from the Pick a Box presenters Bob and Dolly Dyer in 1977 for $376,960, when the Dyers headed to Queensland. Its price is now confirmed at $20 million.

The Bay Street tropical holding is like Hawaii meets Hamilton Island on Middle Harbour, and despite renovations over the past three decades, there are still traces of the Dyers' day, including the imposing sandstone fireplace in its living room that overlooks Quakers Hat Bay.

Mosman’s first big test in 2012 came with the sale of the 1885 Mandolong House, the renovated hillside residence listed with $17 million reported hopes – which sold for $18 million and represented a suburb-record price for a non-waterfront residential property.

The Mandolong Road property situated in a 2,909-square-metre location high on the slopes of Balmoral with a north-south tennis court and swimming pool was sold by the Woollahra-bound businessman Barry Roberts-Thomson and his wife, Victoria to the Kahlbetzer pastoralist family.

Last year’s top Mosman sale was the $19 million sale of a Hopetoun Avenue waterfront property to neighbour Ros Oatley of the Oatley wine family. Its price reflected a serious price weakness, since it had traded at $22.5 million in pre-global financial crisis 2007.

Earlier this year Nigel Smyth, an executive director at Macquarie, and his wife, Diane, upgraded from Clifton Gardens to Balmoral’s golden mile and its premium Sydney Head views, but pocketed $1.7 million in the process.

They spent $4.8 million on a five-bedroom, three-bathroom Hopetoun Avenue house initially listed with $6 million hopes in early 2011 and more recently at $5.2 million.

The contemporary-style house built in 1994 comes with pool, four-car garaging and a 1,500-bottle temperature-controlled cellar.

The Smyths sold at Clifton Gardens in Mosman for $6.5 million. The five-bedroom Kardinia Road property sits on an 823-square-metre block. It had views across the harbour to Rose Bay and Point Piper.

It was bought for $5.12 million in 2005.

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of our authors. Jonathan has been writing about property since the early 1980s and is editor-at-large of Property Observer.

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