Sydney Mansion Aims to Be the First Australian Home to Sell for More Than A$200 Million - Kanebridge News
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Sydney Mansion Aims to Be the First Australian Home to Sell for More Than A$200 Million

The harbourfront estate has views of the Sydney Opera House and can entertain up to 500 guests

By CASEY FARMER
Thu, May 2, 2024 8:44amGrey Clock 2 min

A Sydney waterfront mansion that has just hit the market could set a countrywide price record as the first home to sell for A$200 million (US$129.77 million).

Located in the affluent suburb of Point Piper, the sprawling home sits on a lot that’s equivalent to “four normal housing blocks” and features 98 meters (321.5 feet) of water frontage along the harbour, according to an announcement on Wednesday from Ken Jacobs, director of Australia Pacific of Forbes Global Properties, who has the listing in association with real estate agent Brad Pillinger.

“The estate is Australia’s most iconic residence and ranks amongst the best in the world, combining both privacy and space, exuding elegance and comfort, while featuring gun-barrel views of the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge,” Jacobs said in a statement.

The residence is expected to sell for A$200 million or more, Pillinger added. “There is no comparable property in Australia.”

The home, named Wingadal, as it’s located on Wingadal Place, was built for Aussie Home Loans founder John Symond, who purchased the property in 1999. It took eight years to complete the mansion, which was designed by architect Alec Tzannes, according to the listing agency.

“Wingadal is a highlight of my career in residential design and architecture,” Tzannes said. “The timeless design on the Point Piper peninsula offers a unique appreciation of Sydney Harbour from a variety of angles, rotating around an axis that lines up perfectly with the Sydney Harbour Bridge.”

The colossal home has enough internal space to entertain up to 500 people, and underground parking provides space for 20 cars, plus eight more can fit inside the garage.

The four-level home has four bedrooms as well as a two-bedroom apartment. There’s also a 2,500-bottle wine cellar, a home theater that seats 22, two commercial kitchens and a swimming pool.

“Wingadal has been a special home for my family over the past two decades, and now I’m looking forward to spending more time traveling overseas,” Symond said in a statement. “While being an exceptional family home, we have also enjoyed hosting many important events for charities and other worthwhile causes.”

This is not the first time Symond has tried to sell his waterfront estate. In 2016, he listed the home in hopes of selling it for at least A$100 million, which would’ve been a price record for the country at that time Mansion Global reported . The current benchmark was set in 2022, when a baronial-style estate, also in Point Piper, sold for A$130 million, according to The Sydney Morning Herald .



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Home prices declined at a faster pace in May in major cities, while other data show a mixed picture for the world’s second-largest economy

By REBECCA FENG
Tue, Jun 18, 2024 3 min

China’s broken housing market isn’t responding to some of the country’s boldest stimulus measures to date—at least not yet.

The Chinese government has been stepping up support for housing and other industries in recent months as it tries to revitalize an economy that has  continued to disappoint  since the early days of the pandemic.

But fresh data for May showed that businesses and consumers remain cautious. Home prices continue to fall at an accelerating rate, and fixed-asset investment and industrial production, while growing, lost some momentum.

“China’s May economic data suggest that policymakers have a lot to do to sustain the fragile recovery,” Yao Wei, chief China economist at Société Générale, wrote in a client note on Monday.

The worst pain is in the property sector, which has been struggling to deal with oversupply and weak buyer sentiment since 2021, when a multiyear  housing boom ended . The market still doesn’t appear to have found a floor, even after Beijing rolled out its most aggressive stimulus measures so far  in mid-May  in hopes of restoring confidence.

In major cities, new-home prices fell 4.3% in May compared with a year earlier, worse than a   3.5% decline in April, according to data released Monday by China’s National Bureau of Statistics. Prices in China’s secondhand home market tumbled 7.5%, compared with a 6.8% drop in April.

Home sales by value tumbled 30.5% in the first five months of this year compared with the same months last year.

“This data was certainly on the disappointing side and may ring some alarm bells, as May’s policy support package has not yet translated to a slower decline of housing prices, let alone a stabilisation,” said Lynn Song, chief China economist at ING.

Economists had also been hoping to see a wider recovery this month after Beijing started  rolling out  a planned issuance of 1 trillion yuan, the equivalent of $138 billion, in ultra-long sovereign bonds in May. The funds are designed to help pay for infrastructure and property projects backed by the authorities. Investors  gobbled up  the first batch of these bonds.

Monday’s bundle of economic data, however, underlined how the country still isn’t firing on all cylinders.

Retail sales, a key metric of consumer spending, rose 3.7% in May from a year earlier, compared with 2.3% in April, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. While the trend is heading in the right direction, it is still a relatively subdued level of growth, and below what most economists believe is needed to kick-start a major revival in consumer spending.

The expansion in industrial production—5.6% in May compared with a year earlier—was down from April’s 6.7% increase. Fixed-asset investment growth, of which 40% came from property and infrastructure sectors, also decelerated, to 3.5% year-over-year growth in May from 3.6% in April.

Key to the sluggish economic activity data in May—and China’s outlook going forward—is the crisis in the property market, which has proven hard for policymakers to address.

The property rescue package in May included letting local governments buy up unsold homes, removing minimum interest rates on mortgages, and reducing payments for potential home buyers. It also included as its centerpiece a $41 billion so-called re-lending program launched by the People’s Bank of China, which would provide funding to Chinese banks to support home purchases by state-owned firms.

The hope was that by stepping in as a buyer of last resort for millions of properties, the government would manage to mop up unsold housing inventory and persuade wary home buyers to re-enter the market. In turn, Chinese consumers, who have  most of their wealth  tied up in real estate, would feel more confident about spending again, thereby lifting the overall economy.

But the size of the re-lending program wasn’t big enough to convince home buyers, said Larry Hu , chief China economist at Macquarie Group. “Meanwhile, their income outlook also stays weak given the current economic condition,” he said.

For the property market to bottom out and reach a new equilibrium, mortgage rates, which stand at around 3-4% in China, need to be as low as rental yields, which are currently below 2% in major cities, said Zhaopeng Xing, a senior China strategist at ANZ. He said that a large mortgage rate cut will need to happen eventually.

The other key part of China’s push to revive growth revolves around the manufacturing sector, with leaders  funnelling more investment  into factories to boost output and reduce the country’s reliance on foreign suppliers of key technologies.

The result has been a surge in production. But with domestic consumption not strong enough to absorb all those goods, many factories have been forced to cut prices and seek out more overseas buyers.

Data released earlier this month showed that  Chinese exports rose  faster in May than the month before.

However, the export push is  butting into resistance  as governments around the world worry about the impact of cheap Chinese competition on domestic jobs and industries. The European Union last week said it would  impose new import tariffs  on Chinese electric vehicles, describing China’s auto industry as heavily subsidised by the government, to the point where other countries’ automakers can’t fairly compete.

The U.S.  has also hit  Chinese cars and some other products with hefty duties, while countries including Brazil, India and Turkey have opened antidumping investigations into Chinese steel, chemicals and other goods.

Beijing says such moves are protectionist and that its industries compete fairly with global rivals.