How to make a mint in Perth

Pep­per­mint Grove houses are sell­ing like hot cakes

The Weekend Australian - - MANSION - ZOE DELEUIL

Perth’s cov­eted Pep­per­mint Grove is see­ing re­newed in­ter­est this spring due to a short­age of prop­er­ties and a peren­nial de­sire to se­cure one of the sub­urb’s mix of classic colo­nial man­sions and lux­ury con­tem­po­rary homes.

There were just 12 house sales in the year to June 2016, ac­cord­ing to REIWA, with that num­ber dou­bling to 25 in the 12 months to June 2017. Me­dian house val­ues rose 9.4 per cent to $3.5 mil­lion.

With a pop­u­la­tion of just 1600 res­i­dents, this pocket-sized sub­urb is a barom­e­ter of the Perth mar­ket, REIWA pres­i­dent Hay­den Groves says.

“Given that it’s the pin­na­cle sub­urb in WA, the price rise and higher de­mand sug­gest a bit of con­fi­dence is creep­ing back into the mar­ket. Peo­ple have money to buy th­ese homes be­cause they are good with their pen­nies, and they don’t tend to buy those big fam­ily as­sets in a fall­ing mar­ket,” Groves says.

Pep­per­mint Grove of­fers a se­cluded river­side life­style close to the city and beach. The Fresh­wa­ter cafe, open­ing this spring next to the Royal Fresh­wa­ter Bay Yacht Club and river­side play­ground, will re­place tired fa­cil­i­ties and ap­peal to younger buy­ers, ac­cord­ing to long-time lo­cal agent Chris Shellabear.

“In­ter­est­ingly, we are see­ing a younger de­mo­graphic com­ing through, with the av­er­age age of res­i­dents now lower than neighbouring Cottes­loe,” he says.

Re­cent win­ter sales in­clude 48 View Street, a lime­stone colo­nial man­sion orig­i­nally built for at­tor­ney-gen­eral Wil­liam Sayer. Listed by Wil­liam Por­te­ous, it sold for $3.8m.

A sim­i­lar home, listed in Au­gust by Jody Few­ster, of Ac­ton, af­ter be­ing held by the same fam­ily for 45 years, was un­der of­fer within 24 hours for $4.2m to lo­cal buy­ers with school-age chil­dren. Few­ster, who lives in the sub­urb, says she is notic­ing a gen­er­a­tional shift in buy­ers, with four of her re­cent clients all down­siz­ing.

Peter Burns, of Mack Hall Real Es­tate, says an on­go­ing prop­erty short­age is pro­duc­ing swift sales, while the spring sea­son will bring more sell­ers to mar­ket with the aim of a pre-Christ­mas set­tle­ment.

His cur­rent list­ings in­clude a con­tem­po­rary home on Leake Street, with of­fers ex­pected in the re­gion of $3.5m plus, and Man­dalay, a Raf­fles-in­spired man­sion on Keane Street with a sweep­ing cir­cu­lar drive­way, trop­i­cal gar­dens and a tim­ber-pan­elled liv­ing area.

He pre­dicts sig­nif­i­cant in­ter­est in this unique home, with of­fers above $8.5m.

Vivien Yap, who along with Wil­liam Por­te­ous holds the list­ing for the in­fa­mous 6582sq m su­perblock owned by Pankaj and Rad­hika Oswal, now re­duced to $19.5m with an op­tion to sub­di­vide into six in­di­vid­ual lots, agrees that the mar­ket is up­beat, with buy­ers not hes­i­tat­ing to make of­fers. “Al­most ev­ery­thing with a house on it is ei­ther un­der of­fer or sold.”

She is also sell­ing an ad­ja­cent prop­erty, 10 Bun­ga­low Court, de­signed by ar­chi­tect An­drew Boughton, and says she ex­pects it to go quickly.

“It’s a near-new home with a lift, river views, a heated pool and a the­atre. Homes aren’t even hit­ting the mar­ket at the mo­ment and peo­ple just say, ‘what can we buy it for?’ .

“It’s a good time to be sell­ing, but of course that will change as more prop­er­ties come on to the mar­ket in the spring and the power shifts to­wards buy­ers,” she says.

Chris Shellabear says the sub­urb will al­ways at­tract those who are suc­cess­ful in their fields.

“Tra­di­tion­ally it was agri­cul­ture, then min­ing, and now tech­nol­ogy. I think the mar­ket has cre­ated good op­por­tu­ni­ties in the past few years, but with a lot of state re­source projects now in pro­duc­tion those op­por­tu­ni­ties will de­crease — there are only 400 homes here and many stay in the same fam­ily for decades so it will al­ways be a tightly held sub­urb.”

Clock­wise from left: 10 Bun­ga­low Court has river views, a heated pool and a the­atre; a lime­stone colo­nial man­sion at 48 View Street; Man­dalay, a Raf­fles-in­spired man­sion on Keane Street; and ex­te­rior and in­te­rior views of 48 View Street, all in the sub­urb of Pep­per­mint Grove

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