BREAKEVEN SALE BY GEORGE
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Older brother Sam, who spent $955,000 on his twobedroom apartment, was also seeking a buyer after settlement but has withdrawn it from sale to now accommo- date a family member.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