Got more than $4 million to spend on a house in Sydney? Then consider Mosman but be quick

March 1st, 2013

2Something strange happened this month at the top end of Sydney’s property market in Mosman. Life returned and did it with a vengeance.

According to research carried out by Curtis Associates, there were nine Mosman house sales above $4 million this month which, given the post GFC malaise, was remarkable per se and even more so when it is considered that this turnover was just one sale shy of the number of such sales recorded over the entire five months since 1 October 2011.

Led by the sale of 17 Mandolong Road on Balmoral’s slopes for a rumoured $18 million, the remaining eight sales this month were:

9 March 2 Milton Avenue $4.5 million
16 March 6 Superba Parade $4.05 million
17 March 68 Moruben Road Undisclosed
18 March 18 Upper Spit Road Undisclosed
29 March 52 Hopetoun Avenue $4.5 million +
29 March 19 Mandolong Road $4.06 million
30 March 4 Hampden Street $4.8 million
Circa 30 March 18C Morella Road Undisclosed

In a clear sign of buyers gaining the upper hand, this spike in turnover resulted from vendors finally meeting the market on price and some greater buyer optimism following the near disappearance this month of headlines referring to the European debt crisis.

While both 17 and 19 Mandolong Road sold after relatively short marketing campaigns, all the other properties mentioned above had languished for months without finding buyers. 2 Milton Avenue, Mosman had been on the market since February 2009 and the campaign to sell 52 Hopetoun Avenue, Mosman began in May 2009.

The greatest capital loss able to be discerned amongst this group was $300,000 incurred after seven years of ownership by the vendors of 4 Hampden Street, Mosman. This represented a 6% fall in value.

In a sign that the Mosman prestige housing market may nevertheless have entered a recovery phase since December 2011, it is interesting to compare the lastmentioned capital loss with the $1.65 million loss incurred on the sale of 3 Amaroo Crescent, Mosman on 1 December 2011 for $4.2 million. This equated to a 28% drop in value after three and a half years.

In contrast, the buyer three months later of the Phillip Cox designed 20 Coronation Avenue, Mosman managed only to inflict a 9% capital loss when securing that property for $7.25 million on 27 February 2012.

Meanwhile, in Mosman’s eastern cousin, Woollahra, vendors over $4 million remain obstinate. Even allowing for the fact that there are about five times the number of houses in Mosman relative to Woollahra, there was not one recorded sale over $4 million this month in the latter suburb.

The hunt for value might explain why the rumoured Elizabeth Bay based purchaser of 17 Mandolong Road, Mosman decided it was an ideal time to make a move across the Bridge.