Prices have fallen on some of the east’s historic homes, giving aficionados a rare chance to buy unique homes with a story.
There were $30 million hopes for the 10-bedroom Spanish Mission mansion ‘Al Cooringa’ in Bellevue Hill a year ago. Now Paul Biller of Biller Property is looking for offers of about $28 million.
The price guide on ‘Nugal Hall’, the historic Gothic Revival-style mansion in Randwick, owned by the Campion family for four decades, has dropped from $12 million last April to $9 million this week through Tony Laing of The Agency.
And then there are the more affordable prospects — such as the six-bedroom ‘Boonerie’ at 19 Nelson St, Woollahra, on a rare 429 sqm block.
Built in 1880 Boonerie is understood to be one of three neighbouring homes designated for the daughters of a former premier and chief justice, Sir James Martin, for whom Martin Place was named. Lady Martin’s Beach at Point Piper was named after his wife.
Originally listed with a $3.9 million guide, hopes are now in the region of $3.2 million for Boonerie ahead of the March 24 auction.
“It’s a really big house in Woollahra that’s great value, with beautiful high ceilings, solid brick walls and a good-sized yard,” says Nicholas Armstrong-Smith, who shares the listing with his Century 21 colleague Steve Brajak.
‘Boonerie’ has been the home of Paul and Ruth Russell and their three children for a decade, when they bought it for $1.66 million.
“I do think these old homes are under appreciated,” Mrs Russell said.
“I like living in a place that’s older than you are.
“Sitting in the lounge and ringing the servant’s bell is fun; there are rope light switches in most of the rooms and beautiful stained glass windows throughout the house.
“And the original workmanship in the staircase — you just don’t get these days.”
Boonerie is described as a grand Victorian manor and it’s right by the pedestrian bridge to Bondi Junction and Centennial Park.
The Russells have enjoyed living in the house, but with their kids grown up they’re planning a sea change.
“We might head further up the coast,” Mrs Russell said.