Supermodel and poet Emma Balfour has sold her Alexandria warehouse on the quiet, pocketing $2.075 million for the investment 20 years after she bought it.
Balfour had recently returned from London to Australia on a modelling trip in 1999 when she bought the warehouse space as an investment for $500,000, having been drawn to its quirky features and the fact the hippies who sold it to her had plastered out all the corners to be rounded.
At the time Balfour was also reunited with her teenage sweetheart, photographer Andrew Cowen, with whom she shares the Bondi Beach Californian bungalow she had bought a year earlier for for $642,500.
The couple even planned to later move to the Alexandria warehouse when their sons were older, but are now so entrenched in their Bondi Beach home they plan to spend the proceeds from the sale renovating their home instead.
“Also I had a pretty bad fall from my horse about a month ago and it triggered that feeling of ‘if not now, when?’,” she told Title Deeds.
“Things like that make you re-evaluate what’s important and also remind you that you’re not getting any younger.”
At 49, Balfour is a stalwart of the international modelling scene, having made her name in London in the 1990s thanks to her waifish look that was synonymous with grunge fashion, to reinventing herself as a poet at the turn of the century and strutting the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia catwalk last month.
A sales advisory on the warehouse indicated the two-storey space was sold by BresicWhitney’s Will Phillips.
Chinese developer snaps up another Beauty
Exiled billionaire Huang Xiangmo may have put Mosman’s Beauty Point on the map when he bought his Bay Street mansion for $12.8 million, but it turns out he isn’t the biggest buyer of local real estate from the ranks of his Yuhu Group stable.
Bo Zhang, the major investor behind Yuhu’s associate company AWH Investment, has struck again for the fourth time in two years, buying a Hamptons-style house on Bay Street for $6.6 million through Richard Simeon, of SimeonManners.
The purchase takes it to a total of $28.45 million worth of real estate bought in Beauty Point alone by companies owned and directed by Zhang, which remains a small fraction of the $1.13 billion Yuhu’s AWH Investments paid for the One Circular Quay development site at Circular Quay and a Gold Coast residential site last year.
Zhang’s New Zealand meat export company Cuilam Investment bought his registered home in May 2017 for $6.2 million, added a house around the corner a few months later for $8 million, and snapped up a $7.65 million house a few doors away last year before he settled on his latest purchase in May.
Better yet, they are all a two-minute walk from his AWH co-owner Jimmy Huang, the 25-year-old son of Huang snr, who lives in the family mansion bought by his mother Jiefang Huang in 2012.
Meanwhile Jimmy’s dad is making the best of exile life in Hong Kong where he recently paid $95 million for a townhouse at the exclusive coastal enclave Repulse Bay.
The price is right in Pyrmont
Oh, to be the progeny of television presenter Larry Emdur.
First his daugther Tia scored a $1.08 million apartment in Bellevue Hill a year ago from the Channel 7 co-host of The Morning Show.
And now his son, former model-turn-real estate agent Jye has scored a split-level apartment in Pyrmont’s M Central converted warehouse not far from his working patch in the Bondi to Alexandria belt where he is one of the latest gun recruits with The Agency.
There’s no settlement as yet to reveal the sale result of the two-bedroom spread, but BresicWhitney’s Renae Dickey was asking $950,000 before it sold.
Ingrams go above and beyond
Founding chairman of film and TV production company Beyond Ian Ingram and his family have sold their Darling Point waterfront apartment in the Villa Serene block for $8 million.
The sale comes after 23 years of ownership by Ingram who bought it in 1996 for $2.55 million. The purchase completes a buyout of the waterfront building by property developers Felix Milgrom and Darren Williamson, who are expected to strip the building and redevelop into new luxury apartments.
The property developers have in total forked out $36.5 million for the boutique building of four apartments. It sits in good company – next door is the waterfront residence sold in late 2017 for $30.2 million by Hong Kong businessman Hans-Rainer Ehrhardt and his wife, author Hilda Ying Ehrhardt, to neighbour and property magnate John Roth and his wife, recently appointed Rabo Bank board appointee Jillian Segal.
Rose Bay’s bullish pre-auction buy
Clare Mulham, of the Rich List Roche family, has found new lodgings to replace the Vaucluse house she sold last year for $11.1 million, snapping up a Rose Bay residence for $8.45 million.
It was a bullish pre-auction offer by the daughter of Bill and Imelda Roche that secured the four-bedroom house, well above the $7.8 million guide asked by Ray White Double Bay’s Kate Zuppicich.
The property last traded in 2013 for $4 million when bought by National Australia Bank executive Marcus Boyson.
Parker swaps Bellevue Hill for Vaucluse
Westpac’s HR boss Christine Parker isn’t letting the banking royal commission or its dent on bonuses affect her property plans, swapping her $6.3 million apartment in Bellevue Hill for a $6.3 million house in Vaucluse.
Parker was one of the bank’s group executives who had her bonus cut, according to Westpac’s 2018 annual report.
Parker and her husband Bruce Parker have been renting the Bronte residence of New York-based former Servcorp boss Marcus Moufarrige since they sold their Bellevue Hill spread a year ago to Watsons Bay’s trophy home owner Ingrid Jacobson, wife of businessman Peter Jacobson.
The Parkers’ new home is an ornate 1930s residence that scored an ultra contemporary rear addition by property executive Andrew Glass and his wife Amanda before it was listed with Michael Pallier, of Sotheby’s International.
Parker’s purchase – revealed courtesy of a caveat on title – follows her boss Brian Hartzer’s weekender plans, buying a Pittwater property in his wife Georgiana’s name for $6.8 million, setting a McCarrs Creek record in the process.
Legal eagles up-grade
If there was any single profession that stands out in Sydney’s prestige market this year it would have to be the legal profession. Take Clayton Utz partner Scott Grahame, who has listed his Woollahra terrace.
The former Darling Point-based Grahame bought the Victorian terrace in 2012 for $2.7 million from Regina Church, wife of commercial lawyer Peter Church, and has substantially renovated and extended it since.
The Agency’s Ben Collier is asking about $5.5 million ahead of a June 29 auction.
Grahame follows in the learned steps of fellow legal upgraders such as Amanda Banton, who swapped her Paddington terrace for a $23.56 million Rose Bay waterfront mansion in February, and barrister Andre Zahra who has pocketed about $3 million for his Paddington terrace.
Local sources say Zahra was the $4.8 million buyer of a Darling Point property that was until recently being marketed by a tight-lipped Max Spartalis at Krulis Residential. Spartalis declined to comment on his sale, but settlement is expected to confirm Zahra’s purchase, although his purchase price remains undisclosed.