Sydney's top 20 house sales in the 2011-12 financial year: Title Tattle

Sydney's top 20 house sales in the 2011-12 financial year: Title Tattle
Jonathan ChancellorDecember 8, 2020

Retired car dealer Laurie Sutton was the undoubted kingpin of Sydney property during the 2011/2012 financial year. No sooner had he secured a near-record Kalua (pictured below), the Joye family’s plantation-style Palm Beach trophy home for close to $23 million in April. Sutton thereby took the top two spots on the Title Tattle Top 20 Sydney houses list for the financial year. It represented the second highest price ever paid for a beachfront holiday home in Australia, the highest being the $26 million Ilyuka estate at Portsea in late 2010. But with so little prestige sales activity over the past 12 months, and winter upon us, no wonder so many agents were unable to discuss their sales this week given their overseas holiday sojourns.

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While things are bleakly slow, at that still unconfirmed price, the Joyes’ sale realised a remarkable compound capital gain on the home of about 14% per annum over 33 years of ownership, which bettered the Suttons’ 12% annual gain for their Mosman home, which was owned for a similar lengthy period. Kalua is the 1920s Ocean Road holiday home best known as having been the prestige Christmas holiday rental for international luminaries including Nicole Kidman, John Cleese and James Murdoch. Sutton and his wife will be the 1920s beach bungalow’s third owner. It was last sold by the Hordern retailing family to the more entrepreneurial Joye family, the current vendors, for $330,000 in 1978. It’s a five-bedroom, six-bathroom house with three-bedroom guesthouse along with studio cabana, pool and tennis court on its 5,500-square-metre dress circle block overlooking Cabbage Tree Boat Harbour. It sold through Ken Jacobs and Darren Curtis at Christies International in conjunction with LJ Hooker Palm Beach agents David Edwards and Peter Robinson. Folklore has it that the Hordern family sent their architect by sea to Oahu, Hawaii, to copy “stick by stick and stone by stone” the impressive Dillingham plantation residence.

Sutton’s 5154-square-metre Bay Street, Mosman holding (pictured above and below) – the suburb's largest harbourfront estateYing 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 was 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.

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Ros Oatley-Lambert, the former wife of the former Southcorp wine chief Keith Lambert, sits in third place on Title Tattle's list given she paid $19 million to buy neighbouring Balmoral harbourfront property Albert Bertini, the flamboyant property developer. The Lamberts own the adjoining Rivendell, which is set on a 2,000-square-metre double block. It previously traded for $22.5 million in pre-global financial crisis 2007. Bertini and his former wife, Heather, bought Kahala from the successful veteran property developer Phil Arnold, who'd owned it since 1980.

Arnold paid $380,000 for the estate when it was sold by Lady (Delzie) Hooker, the widow of the real estate tycoon Sir Leslie Hooker, whose ashes are buried on the foreshore rocks. In 1940, Les Hooker paid £3,050 for the property, and during the 1950s he built a three-level house and a boatshed. Bertini started works to rebuild the house as well as two pools, garaging for eight cars and a $1 million tunnel with a lift to the boatshed. Bertini’s boatshed, currently accessed by 160 stairs, has his boating pride and joy – a 26-foot timber boat once owned by the US's most powerful family, the Kennedys. Bertini was recently filmed aboard his luxury boat, Jasa, during the Channel 9 series The Secret Millionaire in 2009. The Oatley viticulture family, who sold their Rosemount wine business to Fosters in 2001 for $1.4 billion, paid a then record $15.5 million for their Balmoral residence, Rivendell, which has limited boating facilities, when it sold through Richardson & Wrench Mosman agent Robert Simeon.



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Mosman’s first big test on 2012 came with the 1885 Mandolong House (pictured above), a renovated hillside residence that set an $18 million suburb-record price for a non-waterfront residential property, Barry Roberts-Thomson and his wife, Victoria. The property last traded for $3,375,000 in 1989. The family moved to Jersey Road, Woollahra. They sold Mandolong House to Markus Kahlbetzer – the son of John Dieter Kahlbetzer, who founded the Twynam Agricultural Group – and his wife, Sally.

Andrew Potter, who owns one of the pricey Sienna, Point Piper apartments, has emerged as the mystery buyer of Bob and Margaret Rose’s Point Piper villa.

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Also at $15 million was the Rose Bay harbourfront house of the late arts patron Ann Lewis

Amaroo, the Bayview Hill Road six-bedroom, four-bathroom (pictured above) house, sold at auction in October through Ken Jacobs of Christie's International Real Estate in conjunction with McGrath Estate agent Andrew Livingstone. It was bought by a little known expat mining consultant who’d previously spent $995,000 on an investment apartment nearby.


The Sharps sold their Michael Suttor-designed house for about $14 million in Vaucluse. Listed in August last year, it's been reported sold by Bill Malouf at LJ Hooker.

The Wentworth Road harbourfront house last sold for $8.5 million in 2001.


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Deauville, the 1935 five-bedroom Point Piper harbourfront residence with direct frontage to Lady Martins Beach, has sold (pictured above) reputedly for about $13.6 million.

The Longworth Avenue house went to June auction last year when it was passed in at $16.1 million through Ben Collier and James Dack at McGrath, in conjunction with Bart Doff of Laing + Simmons Double Bay, who were seeking $17 million plus. It was sold through Double Bay agents Brad Pillinger and Elliott Placks by the property developer and yacht racing identity Georg e Snow and his wife, Sabrina, who bought it 19 years ago for $3 million. Title Tattle recalls the 1993 auction purchase when it was sold at Geoff Speers' Sydney Property Auction Centre room. Overseas currency conversions – Hong Kong dollars and Japanese yen – of every bid were brightly digitally displayed on the wall in what was briefly then the latest advance in auction room gadgetry. The 1993 vendor was the ball-bearing industrialist Ron Martin-Weber, who had paid $395,000 in 1973.

Capital Property Trust's George Snow – who had debuted in the 1993 BRW Rich List at $35 million – is best known for twice taking line honours in the Sydney to Hobart as the owner-skipper of super-maxi yacht Brindabella. The Snows are off to the Keltie Bay, Darling Point penthouse, which was bought from David Kunde for $8.5 million last year. Deauville was bought by the Haifer family, who've sold in Bellevue Hill for about $10 million.
Coppernoll, the Haifer family's 1920s Kambala Road residence, sold off-market having been extensively renovated in 2003 having traded for $2.85 million in 2000. The Kambala Road property was briefly listed with $10 million hopes in 2004. The 1,347-square-metre property has a wide street frontage and security gates that open to a driveway down to two double garages and a porte cochere. The rear comes with a wide covered terrace overlooking the swimming pool and level lawn.

On Victoria Road, Bellevue Hill Maurice and Cheryl Sallick sold their long-held 2460-square-metre property with a large two-storey period-style residence and tennis court for $13.1 million. It was bought by the great-grandson of the founder of the Ray White real estate empire, Dan White, and his wife, Sam.


Rothesay, the very grand 1896 Victorian Italianate home nearby in Bellevue Hill (pictured above), was sold for $13 million in February. In 1998 the founder and executive chairman of the St Hilliers group, Tim Casey, and his wife, Anne Marie, daughter of the legendary thoroughbred trainer Bart Cummings, bought Rothesay for $4,606,000 in 1998 from the Jagelman family. Rothesay is a landmark five-bedroom Cranbrook Road mansion with separate self-contained staff quarters on its 2,008-square-metre block. It’s undergone a revival with Thomas Hamel interiors and outside William Dangar landscaping. It’s crowned by a classic Italianate turret with a sundrenched tower room. It was listed through Ray White Double Bay agents Craig Pontey and Michael Finger. The Berger family sold their Bellevue Hill residence for $12 million in December to rag trader David Gazal and his wife, Jaclyn.

The 11th spot on the list arose after an interesting Bellevue Hill house swap. Hotelier Lloyd Berger and his wife, Simone, sold their Victoria Road mansion for $12 million to rag trader David Gazal, who sold his house in nearby Fairweather Street to the Bergers for $5 million.





Nicole Hunter, the wife of businessman John Hunter – sold their Vaucluse non-waterfront property for around $11.8 million – and short of its $15 million hopes – through Alain Waitsman and Bill Malouf, the LJ Hooker Double Bay agents. It’s one of the largest non-waterfront estates in Vaucluse. The 2266-square-metre Olola Avenue property last traded for $8.5 million in March 2002. Hunter bought the estate from property developer John Dalley, who paid $7.5 million for it in September 1999 when sold by property developer Steven Bauer and his wife, Miriam. It was designed by architect Harold Finger over two blocks purchased for $1.8 million in 1987. The Hollywood-style five-bedroom residence comes with a tennis court, pool and six-car garage. Title Tattle understands the Hunters are off to the redundant Vaucluse residence of German-born restaurateur John Szangolies from the Bavarian Hospitality Group. The Hopetoun Avenue property has been on and off the market through various agents since 2010 after Szangolies upgraded to a nearby Olphert Avenue estate that cost $8.75 million. The sale price of the Hunter’s purchase has not yet emerged, but it is understood LJ Hooker agent Bill Malouf secured about $5 million for the property. The five-bedroom house has been renovated since traded for $2.95 million in 2002.

Rounding out the Bellevue Hill sales, the most recent sale is the Malouf family's Drumalbyn Road residence, which sold for about $9.4 million last week through LJ Hooker Double Bay agent Bill Malouf.

A waterfront property at Woolwich (pictured above), on the Hunters Hill peninsula, takes 15th place on the list. The Angelo Street estate was sold for $9.2 million to orthopaedic surgeon Dr Malcolm Glase. The enormous Italianate residence sits on some 2037 square metres on the Lane Cove River with pool, private beach, jetty and pontoon. It had previously traded for a suburb-record price of $11,005,000 in 2007 to mobile phone seller Mick Hakim. Dr Glase recently sold his redundant Woolwich riverfront residence which was initially listed last November. Its most recent asking price was $4.95 million through Matthew Ward of Ward Partners who’d had $5 million original expectations. No final sale price has been revealed. Located at the tip of The Point Road, the four-bedroom house comes complete with boat shed and ramp. There is approval for a pool on the 607 sq m block.  It last traded for $3.75 million in 2001. Glase's Angelo Street trophy mansion acquistion was bought from the mortgagee-in-possession. It was the home sought by the Obeid family in an off-market deal from the mobile phone seller Mick Hakim who’d paid $11,005,000 in 2007. The Obeid family's purchase was dashed as one of Hakim's creditors deemed the proposed $8.5 million sale as below the market and threatened legal action against National Australia Bank, the holder of the first mortgage. The Italianate residence on 2037 square metres of Lane Cove riverfront land with a north-easterly aspect had been on the market at $13.5 million before the Obeid deal.

The former merchant banker Harish Vadher sold his contempory Seaforth house for $9 million. The David Place cul-de-sac home on 1,384 square metres was only completed a few weeks before its sale. Its selling agent, Lionel Busquets, saw the designer home being built in David Place and approached Vadher, who hails from India, on behalf of a local retired businessman who was looking for something to buy. It beat the record sale for Seaforth, which was on Battle Boulevard and sold in 2007 for $8.31 million.

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No doubt there might be further entrants to the Title Tattle Top 20 Sydney house sales list once hush hush exchanges get to settlement. Just last weekend there was another entrant when a double oceanfront block on Collaroy Beach
(pictured above) – complete with a rare tennis court offering on Sydney’s northern beaches – fetched $8.7 million, although the listing agent didn't actually reveal its sale price. It was offered for the first time in five decades, the home of the late lawyer William Michie, of the law firm Michie and Shahadie. The five-bedroom, four-bathroom house that sits on a 1,365-square-metre Seaview Parade holding had come with initial $10 million expectations.

Credit Suisse banker Edward Jewell-Tait privately negotiated the $8.5 million purchase of the redundant Bellevue Hill house of society doyenne Judy Joye, who's happily enscounsed on the Point Piper harbourfront with husband Robin Crawford. It was a bullish price.

At Seaforth, the eyewear importer Joseph Pascali sold his Laura Street property. Listed with $11 million price hopes last November, the price is tipped to be $8.5 million plus. Developed by builder Jason Nowytarger and his wife, Simone, the daughter of Joseph Pascali, the four-level residence stands on an 1,100-square-metre block. It has 180-degree Middle Harbour views. It’s a 53-metre-wide deep-water frontage with a jetty and a pontoon. The five-bedroom house has 520 square metres of living space. It was in 1977 that the Pascali's paid $61,000 for the property. It had been listed through Ray White Seaforth agent Lionel Busquets and LJ Hooker Seaforth's David Rothschild.

The Priory, the monastic Neutral Bay harbourfront estate scrapes onto the list in 20th place. There's talk it’s been sold at $8.3 million plus to a Mosman buyer, although the sale price accepted by retired United Artists executive turned property developer Ken Stevens and his wife, Judit, has not yet been revealed in settlement paperwork. The listing agents were Christie's agent Ken Jacobs and LJ Hooker Mosman's Richard Harding. It last traded in 2001 for $4.35 million when bought from the former Worldschool director-turned-property-investor Ashley Owen and wife Julie, who had paid $2.8 million in 2000. The 1906 Federation residence on a 914-square-metre block comes with a waterfrontage of 32 metres – deemed as one of the widest available on the lower north shore. It’s no doubt been bought by boating enthusiasts, as the Shellcove Road property's facilities include a mooring pen, a large L-shaped jetty, an iron slipway and a boat shed with a home office above it. In 1926, when The Priory was owned by a religious order, a chapel was added. It’s now the dining room with vaulted ceilings, cedar panelling and an impressive sandstone fireplace. The four-bedroom house near Kurraba Point wharf comes with a self-contained guest apartment.

And probably just off the list given the cutoff was the Clontarf beachfront residence of property developer Stephen Day and his wife, Sarah, which sold this month through David Rothschild of LJ Hooker Seaforth. Rock Lee, the Jon King-designed Monash Crescent property, had been listed for sale in February with $10 million price hopes, but sold without any price confirmation. The Manly Daily reported its sale first as in the high $8 million range, but the more authorative SMH suggested in the low $8 million range. The Radical Terrace website remains silent on the issue. The founding chairman of Valad Property Group, Day is now the managing director of Propertylink, which manages and develops office, industrial and infrastructure assets.

Title Tattle's analysis of the Top 20 House sales will be published next week.

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.

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