BREAKEVEN SALE BY GE­ORGE

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - - Federal Politics -

Ge­orge Burgess, one of the high-fly­ing South Syd­ney Rab­bitohs broth­ers, and his wife Joanna have man­aged to on­sell their re­cently set­tled Lit­tle Bay apart­ment — but only at its pur­chase price.

Ge­orge, his twin brother Tom and older brother Sam all grabbed an Il­lume apart­ment off the plan in 2015, mid­way through the price boom. On its set­tle­ment in Au­gust, Ge­orge and Joanna quickly sought to flip their pent­house pur­chase.

Hav­ing paid $1.35 mil­lion, the top-floor, two-bed­room apart­ment with ter­rac­ing was ini­tially listed at $1.45 mil­lion to $1.5 mil­lion, which would have more than cov­ered ex­penses. Their for­mer Rab­bitohs team­mate Beau Cham­pion, now an agent with NG Farah, listed the apart­ment with col­league Pe­ter Gould­ing and re­cently posted its sales suc­cess at $1.35 mil­lion.

The Chi­fley-based cou­ple cel­e­brated their two-year an­niver­sary ear­lier this week, and also re­cently wel­comed their se­cond child Birdie Maque­lle. They had son Bos­ton last year.

TA Global de­vel­oped the Il­lume, with 179 res­i­den­tial apart­ments in three blocks of five-storey-high build­ings on An­zac Pde. The units were a col­lab­o­ra­tive de­sign by ar­chi­tect Tony Caro, along with Si­mon Mather of Mako Ar­chi­tec­ture. Bor­der­ing Lit­tle Cove Beach and four golf cour­ses, the es­tate cov­ers 13ha with lakes, wet­lands, bush­land and walk­ing trails.

It was Tom who out­laid the most of the broth­ers, seem­ingly with plans to move into his $1.405 mil­lion, twobed­room pur­chase with his part­ner, for­mer Miss Uni­verse fi­nal­ist Tahlia Gi­umelli, and their cav­a­lier pup Ted.

Older brother Sam, who spent $955,000 on his twobed­room apart­ment, was also seek­ing a buyer af­ter set­tle­ment but has with­drawn it from sale to now ac­commo- date a fam­ily mem­ber. The twins at­tended the VIP launch of the se­cond stage of the de­vel­op­ment in 2015 with their mum Julie as guests of the re­cently de­parted Mc­Grath Projects boss Den­nis Vertza­yias.

Syd­ney’s off-the-plan unit mar­ket has in­creas­ingly faced pric­ing is­sues upon set­tle­ment. CoreLogic re­cently cal­cu­lated that 30 per cent of off-the-plan apart­ments were be­ing val­ued at less than their orig­i­nal sale price.

Many apart­ments were sold off the plan at a time when hous­ing con­di­tions were much stronger and credit con­di­tions weren’t as tight, CoreLogic head of re- search Tim Law­less noted. “With the unit con­struc­tion cy­cle mov­ing through an un­prece­dented peak, the set­tle­ment phase will be an im­por­tant facet of the mar­ket to mon­i­tor,” he said.

Law­less says that the com­bi­na­tion of record new apart­ment sup­ply and fall­ing prices means that set­tle­ment risk is now “height­ened”.

He said off-the-plan buy­ers who find their val­u­a­tion comes in lower than the con­tract price at the time of set­tle­ment could be “in for a rude shock”.

“Buy­ers will need to top up their de­posit in or­der to meet the lender’s loan-to-val­u­a­tion cri­te­ria,” he said.

Joanna and Ge­orge Burgess and (in­set) their sold apart­ment. Main pic­ture: Richard Dob­son

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