One Fell swoop: who’ll be next?
IT might just be scurrilous rumour, but talk has it that someone spiked a For Sale’’ sign into the manicured lawns of Gordon Fell’s Point Piper mansion recently.
Fell bought the Sydney mansion for $ 29 million in August, in the days when Allco shares were trading well above $ 8, compared with the abysmal 45c mark of recent days.
Fell, a former boss at Ord Minnett and founder of the Rubicon Group, was the recipient of an additional 11 million Allco shares late last year.
Once worth $ 66.5 million, the portfolio would today fetch around $ 5 million.
Fell told The Australian late last month that things weren’t so dire as to force the sale of his threestorey Sydney waterfront.
It’s actually my wife’s house and it’s not for sale,’’ he said at the time.
Urban myth or not, the top end of the residential market is no longer immune to a price correction.
Although untouched by rising interest rates, the stock market rout combined with an outbreak of margin calls could mark the beginning of distressed sales at the top end.
Buyers’ agents say they still can’t get enough mansions for the wealthy, but logic would tell you some people are hurting, having borrowed against shares that are now underwater.
Former Sydney Swans footballer and founder of tourism group BreakFree, Tony Smith, has put two multi- million- dollar Sydney beachfront properties on the market as he tries to recoup losses from the share price collapse of financial services company MFS.
Smith has listed two adjoining properties overlooking Tamarama Beach ( nicknamed Glamourama) in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, which he bought last year for a total of $ 11.3 million.
Smith, who sold his BreakFree resort management business to the now- crippled MFS in 2005 in return for MFS shares, has also stopped work on his $ 70 million Gold Coast mansion.
MFS shares went the same way as Allco — down — and are currently suspended.
Rumours on the Gold Coast say Smith sold the partly built home on a five- block mega- site on Hedges Avenue, Mermaid Beach, for more than $ 32 million after spending six years and $ 27 million putting the parcel together. Smith has denied the sale. Prices in the mansion belts of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and the Gold Coast skyrocketed in recent years, with many top- end areas turning in 20 per cent price growth.
But nothing goes up forever, and if there is one forced sale, there are probably more.