There’s no better time to pounce on blue-chip property than a crisis and this “blank canvas” in a former Point Piper hotel with city and Harbour Bridge views is an attractive option.
The two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment at 9/2B Wentworth St, which property records show is owned by Joan Langham, is set to go under the hammer in an online auction next Wednesday night.
And there’s a lot of interest. “We’ve had 78 inquiries,” says Century 21 Armstrong-Smith principal Nicholas Armstrong-Smith.
“Builders and architects have loved that it’s that it’s an absolute blank canvas and that they can see where the ceiling beams are … there are no second guesses.”
Armstrong-Smith says his vendor had plans drawn up — later strata and council approved — to reconfigure the apartment for the living areas to face the view.
And some of preliminary work was done. But being in her 70s, she decided not to proceed, opting to move into an already renovated apartment instead.
He says he and colleague Steve Brajak also have interest from downsizers who love the high ceilings and the view and young couples who see the 145 sqm space as more attractive than a semi.
The apartment is in a block of 11, which was built in the early 1900s as the Buckingham Hotel.
“My grandfather remembers a white-glove service and the big portico out the front … a driver would have turned up to this really nice hotel in Point Piper called the Buckingham and converted many years ago into apartments,” Nicholas-Smith says.
The apartment has a price guide of $2 million ahead of the online auction, which he says is attractive since it’s about the same money you’d pay for a Bondi Junction flat.
If that’s beyond your budget, the agency has a two-bathroom apartment with a car space at 18/46 Coogee Bay Randwick also going under the hammer with a $790,000 price guide on the same night.
Being on the top floor with a nice outlook and full of natural light, he has first home buyers interested and also investors who can expect about $700 a week in rent.
He says he also has investor interest in a one-bedder at 2/23A Bennett St, Bondi with a $790,000 price guide and a studio at 414/29 Newland St, Bondi Junction, which was listed off the back of a sale of another studio in that building recently for $375,000.
“Investors have been spooked by the stockmarket volatility and people think bricks and mortgage over the long term is a good option,” Nicholas-Smith says.
Another agent, Alexander Smith of Ray White Woollahra, is noticing more investors in the market.
He and his principal, Randall Kemp, have sold a two-bedroom apartment at 9/326 Edgecliff Rd, Woollahra on Tuesday to an investor prior to its scheduled online auction.
He says the guide was $850,000 and it sold in the $850,000-$900,000 range.
“We are seeing more investors in the market as interest rates are at an all-time low and they are capitalising on this opportunity to expand their property portfolio,” Smith said.