In the middle of one of the most jaw-dropping property booms in decades it is refreshing to hear that not every seller is making a motza from their real estate. Take billionaire pub magnate Chris Morris and his wife Sharron Sills, who have copped a loss on their Milsons Point penthouse this week.
The couple paid $8 million for their crash pad in the Latitude building at the peak of the local apartment market in 2017, making them immediate neighbours to the super-spread next door owned by Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban.
Di Jones’ Nigel Mukhi wouldn’t confirm what local sources say was an off-market resale for less than the purchase price, but did at least reveal it was not bought by the Hollywood superstar neighbours.
Not that Kidman and Urban weren’t given ample opportunity to secure it. The A-listers have long been seen as obvious buyers given they own the adjoining two penthouses, purchased first for $6 million in 2009 from Mark Bouris and adding its adjoining spread three years later for $7 million.
Morris, the Rich-List owner of hospitality and tourism operator Colonial Leisure Group, isn’t going far. Last year he bought a $10.75 million waterfront pad in the nearby Maritima building in Lavender Bay.
Meanwhile, former Corelogic chief Graham Mirabito, who sold Morris his Milsons Point pad in 2017, has also sold his off-market purchase in the neighbouring Aqualuna building.
Records show the apartment in the Koichi Takada Architects-designed building was sold by Mukhi for $6.5 million to former Woolworths boss Bill Wavish and his wife Vonnie, who are downsizing from the waterfront home on Kurraba Point they sold last August for $19.5 million.
$20 million the magic number
Returning to the boom, the 1920s Vaucluse manor of husband-and-wife dentists Gloria Shih and Lawrence Lau sold this week on the quiet for about $20 million.
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That’s more than double the $9.3 million it traded for in 2015 when sold by Julianna Deeb and Clayton Utz partner Steven Klimt – and there are no council records of any major renovation since Deeb commissioned the Burley Katon Halliday redesign of 20 years ago. Pillinger’s Brad Pillinger and Badger Fox’s Peter Leipnik wouldn’t reveal the result, despite being widely tipped for the deal.
Meanwhile, over the harbour, the long-held Mosman mansion of prominent businessman and former Star City boss Neil Gamble and his wife Jean also sold on the quiet for about $20 million through Belle Property’s Tim Foote.
This is a Mediterranean-style mansion with tennis court and pool on almost 2200 square metres that was once the family home of thoroughbred horse breeder John Messara until he sold it in 1991 for $3 million to the Brookman family, who sold for the same price to the Gambles two years later.
The former game company boss who brought us Grand Theft Auto, James Ellingford, sold his Dural acreage this week for $4.31 million to move to the Gold Coast.
Dr Ellingford, who last year was appointed a director at cannabis company Roots, did well on the six-bedroom mansion, having purchased it two years ago for $3.6 million, and left it largely unchanged until it went to auction recently to be passed in at $4.2 million by Will Hampson, of Lumby Hampson. Hampson sold it a few days after auction.
Bali in Byron Bay
The ranks of Byron Bay’s venture capitalists continue to swell, with Reinventure Group boss Simon Cant and his partner Kellie Bright buying a hinterland getaway for $3.25 million.
The Coogee-based couple have bought the 41-hectare property Kookaburra in Goonengerry, complete with a Bali-style homestead, separate studio, workshop, garden pavilion, swimming pool lemon grove, and native rainforest.
Scali’s Palmy switcheroo
Nick Scali boss Anthony Scali has had a change of heart over the Palm Beach getaway he bought 18 months ago, returning it to the market for $11 million.
The beachfront house was long-held by the late miner James Mitchell, who owned it from 1977 until his death in 2015, paying $72,500 with a mortgage to the late rugby league player “Albie” McAndrew.
Scali’s investment company purchased it for $9 million through Ray White Prestige Palm Beach’s Noel Nicholson, who has again been handed the listing.
The Scali clan already own on beachfront Iluka Road, having bought the Walter Barda-designed residence on Snapperman Beach, down the road, for $7.5 million from property developer Denis O’Neil, and adding O’Neil’s boathouse next door six months later for $4.43 million.
And late last year the Point Piper-based Anthony Scali bought a North Coast property in Wilsons Creek for $4.2 million.