As the Sydney market cools, top agent Alexander Phillips secured his third property in Coolong Rd, Vaucluse, at a controversial auction on Saturday, beating an indecisive underbidder.
Chief Agent Alexander Phillips bought his third property in Coolong Rd, Vaucluse, at a controversial auction on Saturday, beating an indecisive underbidder.
Phillips had bid $6.65 million and the auctioneer, David Medina, knocked the hammer down when his main opponent, masked over his mouth, shouted “$6.7 million.”
But it was too late. He had already announced ‘I’m out’ to the auctioneer; and the deal for 12 Coolong Rd was done. Phillips shook hands with both Medina and the sales agent, Sotheby’s director Michael Pallier.
“I’m very happy – you can’t go wrong with Coolong Rd – it’s the best street in Australia!” Phillips told me, as he rushed to sign the contract for the late estate of Elizabeth Dodds, a former kindergarten teacher in Cranbrook.
As is often the case when talking about the cooling of the real estate market, the smart money was buying. This latest deal means he has bought more than $23 million worth of real estate on the exclusive street.
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Phillips, the director of PPD Real Estate, who has city council plans for an $8 million refurbishment of his $11.1 million mansion down the street, would likely always be the buyer of the charming semi-detached house on Saturday. three bedroom 1920s with wraparound balcony at number 12 Coolong Rd, with his wife, Bridget.
He had already bought No.10 Coolong Rd in September 2020 for $5.5 million.
Since then, prices have gone up and Phillips thought he got a good deal on Saturday. “I think I paid too much then,” he laughed. “This one evens it out!”
Pallier had four registered bidders, three of which were active.
Medina had declared the property on the market for $6.2 million, so it appears to have well exceeded its reserve.
Phillips had made the opening offer of $4 million, which Medina jokingly called “very ambitious” and that at that price he would have to close two of the three bedrooms and the parking lot.
But then Phillips let it play out between the other sides – with the underbidder offering $4.025 million and a bidder on the phone from London raising it to $5 million.
The underbidder offered $5.05 million; the London bidder responded with $5.5 million; the underbidder came back with $5.6 million and called on the auctioneer to tell him now, “I have to go – where are the keys?”
The London telephone bidder came back with $5.7 million, to which the underbidder said: “That scares me – $5.8 million – come on! [meaning he wanted the auctioneer to sell it to him at that price]†
The London bidder offered $6 million; the underbidder said $6.1 million; the London bidder came back with $6.15 million and the underbidder replied with $6.2 million.
Once it was “on the market”, Phillips was back in the game, offering $6.4 million.
The knockout bid seemed to have the desired effect. The underbidder yelled, “Let him have it!”
But then he raised $6.5 million. Phillips countered with $6.65 million.
The underbidder said again, “Let him have it!”
Just to be sure, Medina checked again and the man said, “I’m out!”
Then the hammer came down, as the underbidder changed his mind again.
After it was clear that he had missed the ground, he ran off in frustration, but one of Elizabeth Dodds’ daughters, Kate, said she was happy with the result. “It’s done,” she said.
Ownership records show that Elizabeth, who died last December, and her husband, Graeme Dodds, bought it in 1993 for $589,500.
Kate and her siblings had grown up in Olola Ave, Vaucluse, and her family had a 100-year-old connection to the prestigious suburb.
“It was a great place to grow up – swimming in Nielson Park, close to schools and good friends,” she said.
Phillips is unlikely to lose on his Coolong Rd purchases. His most recent is right up against the four blocks that Menulog founder Leon Kamonov bought in 2016 for $80 million. He is currently building a $120 million waterfront designer mansion.
Originally published when Alexander Phillips takes third property in Coolong Rd, Vaucluse, at controversial auction