Rooms with a priceless view

Rooms with a priceless view

On the up and up: the Redfern semi. The Collaroy property.
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David Vaughan, Christine Olliffe and Audette Vaughan. Photo: Janie Barrett.

The last time this Collaroy property was sold, Ben Chifley was still prime minister. And while much has changed in the world since the 1940s, the views from its front rooms have not. You can still take in the sweeping vista that extends from North Head to Barrenjoey – something David Vaughan and his sister Christine Olliffe never tired of when they were growing up. Their great aunt lived there before their parents, who moved there in the 1970s. Their mother, Audette Vaughan, who is in her 90s, only moved out a few weeks ago.

”It was a wonderful place to be, even as a teenager, because you really appreciated the view,” Vaughan says. The three-bedroom house has jarrah floors, three-metre ceilings and stone fireplaces. It is on a 650 square metre block with a large rambling garden and steps leading down to Long Reef beach. But it is the property’s position, high on the headland in Lancaster Crescent, that has been winning over potential buyers. It is due to be auctioned on October 26 through Steve Witt, of Century 21 Read Essery & Witt, who is expecting interest of $1.5 million and above.

Capital gainers

”If only” stories are gathering pace, as buyers pay what seem to be ridiculous prices. A former owner of a tiny two-bedroom Redfern semi wished he had held onto it after learning of the $1.01 million paid ahead of auction through Belle Property Surry Hills. ”It’s madness,” said Finlay Crawford, who sold the property for $223,000 in 1995 and moved his family to Randwick.

”I should have kept it by the look of it.” He paid $180,000 for the Charles Street pad five years earlier. The current owners paid $600,000 in 2002 and did little apart from a paint job and styling but had smartly offered the property with approved plans for an extra floor.

Pre-auction blitz

This is but one example of a growing number of properties selling before their auction date, as buyers look to get a jump on the seemingly inexhaustible competition. The proportion of these sales is now more than 40 per cent of total auction sales, according to figures from Australian Property Monitors. In his latest newsletter, industry guru Bob Guth, director of BradfieldCleary, notes these pre-auction sales have reached ”ridiculous proportions due to a lack of stock in the market”.

While most are selling for an above-market price, Guth reckons vendors could be getting even higher prices if they cooled their heels and waited until auction day.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.