Despite prices stagnating across Sydney’s broader market in the second half of 2017, there was no stopping dozens of Sydney suburbs scoring record high results thanks to a shortage of top-end homes for sale. 

At least 40 suburbs set a suburb record in 2017, down from last year’s more than 52 suburbs that reset their market highs.


It was blue-chip suburbs like Point Piper, Northbridge, Centennial Park and Warrawee on the upper north shore that were some of the standout sales winners of this year.

The beachfront estate Elaine set not just a suburb record for Point Piper at $71 million when it sold in April to tech billionaire Scott Farquhar, but topped all national records as well. The previous record for Point Piper was $61.8 million set late last year for the waterfront trophy home Altona.

One of the east’s biggest gains was in Dover Heights when TV presenter Larry Emdur did a private deal with celebrity accountant Anthony Bell to sell his clifftop home for $11.5 million, which was more than 20 per cent higher than the previous suburb record of $9.5 million.

Hunter Street, Dover Heights house.


The most expensive house to sell in Dover Heights.


In Edgecliff settlement is yet to confirm the sale price of investment banker Scott Malcolm’s trophy home Carmel, but sources have tipped a result of more than $15 million, which would be more than double the $6,775,000 high set by the same property when it last traded in 2001.

In the east records were also set in Clovelly ($8 million), Tamarama ($13 million), Centennial Park ($12.75 million) and North Bondi ($10.35 million).

Scott Malcolm's house Carmel in Edgecliff.


Scott Malcolm’s house Carmel in Edgecliff.


Despite mixed results at the top-end, Louis Christopher, managing director of SQM Research, said Sydney’s prestige market had historically moved counter-cyclical to the broader market.

“Strong population growth helped buffer the prestige market from the slowdown that was felt across the broader market,” he said.

North of the harbour, one of the biggest jumps in suburb records was in well-heeled Northbridge where the wealthy Salteri family smashed the suburb high of $15.25 million by almost 38 per cent when they sold their waterfront home for $21 million to Kristie Ward, daughter of Primo Smallgoods co-founder John Hunt.

Michael Coombs, of McGrath’s Mosman, said the increasingly few waterfront and trophy homes on offer north of the harbour was forcing buyers to pay top prices.

In Castle Cove, the $11.28 million high of last year was topped by more than 15 per cent when Neerim Park sold for $13 million.

Neerim Park.


Neerim Park set a new high for Castle Cove.


“These buyers are not area-specific. They are looking for a great home and the north shore offers a perception of value compared with the eastern suburbs,” said Darren Curtis, of Christie’s International.

The sale of Springfields estate in Warrawee for $12 million set a suburb and upper north shore record when it sold to Foreign Investment Review Board-approved buyer from China, Shuxin Zhou, whose June 30 purchase was the day before the state government’s new laws took effect doubling the stamp duty surcharge for foreign buyers.

Warrawee's Springfields estate sold for $12 million a day before the deal would have incurred an extra $480,000 surcharge on the buyer.


Warrawee’s Springfields estate sold for $12 million a day before the deal would have incurred an extra $480,000 surcharge on the buyer.


The Hunters Hill peninsula record was broken twice in the first half of 2017 – first when Hollywood star Cate Blanchett and husband Andrew Upton sold their home in January for $18 million and later when the Salter family sold their Federation mansion Vailele in Woolwich for $22.18 million, more than double the suburb’s previous highest sale.

In the inner west the spate of suburb records were a symptom of the right property coming onto the market at the right time, said Danny Cobden, of Cobden & Hayson.

“A lot of these properties have been in the one family for years and the smart money saw 2017 as a good time to get out of the family home,” he said.

Hotelier Rod Salmon sold his three-level waterfront residence for more than $12 million.


Hotelier Rod Salmon sold his three-level waterfront residence for more than $12 million.


Most notable was the more than $12 million sale in Drummoyne of hotelier Rod Salmon’s waterfront mansion, setting an all-time new high for the inner west, which was previously set at $11.8 million in Balmain East.

Birchgrove came close to reclaiming its traditional inner west record status when the waterfront home of property developer Thomas Tosich sold for $11.75 million to healthcare boss Jayne Shaw.

And Strathfield’s was reset at $8.8 million for the former home of Sanity boss Ray Itaoui and his wife Rachel, and records were also set in Newtown and Stanmore.

The Northern Beaches suburbs of Seaforth, Balgowlah Heights and Queenscliff all recorded new highs, the latter at $10 million for the former home Paul Hogan’s former wife Noelene Hogan.

This home set a record in Queenscliff.


This home set a record in Queenscliff.


In the Sutherland Shire, Woolooware and Oatley scored new highs, and Cronulla settled on its first double-digit deal at $10.3 million when Sonya Boxall, wife of UBS co-head of equities Steve Boxall, bought a waterfront house on Darook Park Road.

Mount Druitt recorded the most affordable suburb high at $1.3 million when a four-bedroom house on Callagher Street sold in December.