St Leonards ‘superlot’ of nine houses reaps $66m

Carolyn Cummins
By Carolyn Cummins 
September 29, 2015

A private Hong Kong-based investor has paid $66.06 million for a lot of nine St Leonards houses – reaping the owners an average of about $7.34 million apiece – amid the rush for development sites close to Sydney Harbour and the city.

The sale comes as demand for higher-density living across the suburbs by first home buyers and investment properties escalates.

An artist's impression of a proposed development in St Leonards, where a block has been sold for $66 million.
An artist’s impression of a proposed development in St Leonards, where a block has been sold for $66 million.

North Sydney and surrounds have been particularly strong because of the proximity to Macquarie University, the northern beaches and the city’s central business district.

Developers have snapped up an array of older office towers in the North Sydney CBD which have rezoning approval that allows for redevelopment as residential sites.Advertisement

Demand has stretched north to suburbs such as Willoughby, where Hong Kong-based investor and developer Euro Properties has paid $147.5 million for the old Channel Nine site.

The St Leonards “superlot” sits at the heart of St Leonards, fronting Canberra and Holdsworth avenues and River Road.

It’s understood some of the homes were owned by investors and some by owner-occupiers. All will be vacated on settlement.

The Lane Cove Council has proposed the site be rezoned for high-density residential development.

It’s thought the new owner will redevelop the 5695-square-metre block into two apartments towers of between 12 and 15 storeys.

In December 2014, the Lane Cove Council drafted a master plan to consider residential development potential in the area.


That plan suggested a height up to eight storeys for the area, but the plan for taller blocks on the Canberra and Holdsworth avenues site was deemed to have “merit”.

“Whilst there has been a lot of talk and press around residents consolidating to sell, this is one of the first real examples of such a large, unconditional transaction,” said JLL’s head of metropolitan sales and investments Sam Brewer, who advised on the deal

“The sale campaign yielded over 100 interested buyers split evenly between local and offshore. The buyer was an undisclosed Hong Kong-based developer and this is their first development site purchase in Australia.”

Mr Brewer said that he and JLL international investment director Ben Hunter had sold more than $2 billion worth of sites in the past 12 months.

“With much of the ready zoned land now sold, we see a large proportion of next year’s pipeline been made of similar mum and dad house consolidations as St Leonards,” Mr Brewer said.

JLL believed the St Leonards sale underscored strong, ongoing demand from Asian investors for Australian residential property.

Carolyn Cummins

Carolyn Cummins is Commercial Property Editor for The Sydney Morning Herald.

SOURCE: https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/st-leonards-superlot-of-nine-houses-reaps-66m-20150929-gjx2zn.html?fbclid=IwAR2tpeg8kFN8KfI6ORQ54tMi4aP4aGSXV-qkDNnzeZro-6KnAH9OlxDxGnw