Byron Bay real estate is still in demand. Here are some of the sales and new listings for the month of September. It will be interesting to see if we get a lot of new product coming online for spring.
Olivia Newton-John sold her rural estate near Alstonville, south-west of Byron Bay. The property, first listed five months with $5 million-plus hopes, has sold to Brisbane based couple Stephen and Carol Klinkert for $4.6m. Olivia bought the first holding in 1981 for $622,000 and the original cottage was rebuilt in 2002 into a French-inspired country house. Newton-John retains her North Coast investment co-holding, the Gaia Retreat & Spa, which she co-founded in 2005. The 70-year-old singer and actor (and star of rock and roll musical Grease) is now based in Florida with her husband John Easterling.
Byron Bay-based model and swimwear designer Olive Cooke and her fiance, Henry Tervenski, have bought their first property together. They’ve recently settled on a $320k block, with plans for a Palm Springs inspired home, in Epiq Lennox, the master-planned housing development in Lennox Head, on the coast between Byron Bay and Ballina. In reference to last month’s Invasion of the Insta-Mums story, Olive has 286,000 Instagram followers, which for some people in some circles these days is a measure of self-worth.
Cedar Villa, French Riviera
Byron prices can be stratospheric at times but some places are off in another galaxy altogether. The 190-year-old, 18,000 sq ft, 14 bedroom Villa Les Cedres on the French Riviera, once known as ‘the most expensive house in the world’, just sold for €200 million, or $AU322 million, to an unidentified buyer for private use. The previous owner was the Italian distiller Davide Campari-Milano SpA. The company acquired the villa, on 14 hectares, as part of its 2016 purchase of the Grand Marnier Group. The internationally acclaimed botanic gardens boast 14,000 species of tropical plants, including the particular strain of bitter orange used to flavour Grand Marnier liqueur.
The English writer Somerset Maugham called the French Riviera ‘a sunny place for shady people’, which is massively understating the reputation of a previous owner of the Villa Les Cedres, the infamous King Leopold II of Belgium. Once dubbed ‘Satan and Mammon in one body’, his despotic reign over the Belgian Congo saw millions of people slaughtered and billions of dollars of mineral wealth plundered from the Central African country and earned him the reputation as the most brutal and ruthless white colonialist in history.
As it happens, a mansion outside Paris now takes the mantle of the most expensive property in the world after being bought by another hereditary despot. This estate fetched a record €275 million for its sale to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, now known as the Butcher of Istanbul for allegedly ordering the murder and dismemberment of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi embassy in Istanbul.
Byron at Byron Sold
Gerry Harvey’s successful Byron at Byron boutique resort in Suffolk Park has sold. Dubai based Syrian billionaire Ghassan Aboud paid $45million for the 92 room resort and spa. It is believed the long term managers of the resort, John and Lynn Parche, had notified Harvey of their plans to retire and this is what prompted the sale.
Grand Designs in Suffolk Park
This Thursday night’s episode of Grand Designs Australia features Mike and Meghan Fishwick and an interesting piece of Byron Bay real estate. They built a house in the Sea Cliffs estate in Byron Hills, Suffolk Park and had the added stress of having a film crew tape the whole process. Of course, the build did not go completely without its ups and downs which always makes for good TV.
Presenter and producer of Grand Designs UK, Kevin McCloud, has his own problems. He is a supporter and backer of innovative and eco-friendly housing. Between 2013 and 2017, McCloud wooed UK investors through a crowdfunding process promising returns of up to 9% a year from his Happiness Architecture Beauty (HAB) homes businesses. The business opportunity has ran into problems and some investors look like loosing up to 97% of their dough.
Various in Goonengerry
Goonengerry village, west of Mullumbimby, is currently getting some attention:
271 Goonengerry Mill Road
Gary Brazenor of Byron Shire Real Estate has listed 41 acres with the original 3 bedroom farm cottage. The property is high on the Mill Road ridgeline, with excellent easterly views, and priced at $1.1m.
Mafeking Road, Goonengerry
There are two interesting offerings on Mafeking Road. One is a lovely stone walled dwelling with great northern views. It’s an off-market sale and part of a small well-functioning Multiple Occupancy. It also comes with a separate studio currently operating as a craft studio. The asking price is the mid 700s.
The other property is a beautiful 2 bedroom home with separate garage/studio and independent meditation room. This property will be listed soon, with the vendors looking for somewhere in the 800s.
The Kollective, 116 Stuart St Mullumbimby
Built last year after many objections from locals, The Kollective had a hard slog getting this block of eight units through council. The company, with a number of ‘Build to Rent’ developments in Byron, build the units and rent them for yield instead of selling for turnover. However, half of the Mulllum block of eight is going on the market and looking for $2m through Jeremy Bennett from Byron Property Sales.
The Hive, Byron Arts and Industry estate
Located alongside the new Stone and Wood Brewery next door to Ozigo, just before the soon-to-be redundant Disco Dong roundabout, is another complex nearing completion. This is a new style of retail development, focusing mainly on food and produce in the manner of London’s Chelsea market.
In the words of the developers:
THE HIVE is an ideal location for food producers and retailers to engage with their customers in a curated space of complimentary operators. THE HIVE is an architecturally-designed precinct. On the ground floor are retail and food production shops, connected by an atrium-style breezeway flooded in natural light and open spaces where customers can enjoy a hive of activity. The first floor offers functional office suites with natural light and open spaces.
For leasing inquiries contact Kath Vaubell from Byron Property Sales. The developers are offering 6 months free rent if you enter into a lease in 2019.
Belongil Beach vacant land
Despite the threat of rising sea levels and destructive storm activity, Belongil is still highly sought after and vacant blocks are being released in stages on Border Street nestled between the new ‘demountable’ two-storey houses on the old Epicentre site (itself a former abattoir) and the beachfront. The first three are now on the market, with one already sold. Agent Paul Bannister from First National is looking for a price over $2m.
Cavvanbah Street, Byron Bay
Jeremy Bennet from Byron Property Sales has achieved an off-market sale of 28 Cavvanbah Street with this classic piece of Byron Bay real estate. The 5-bedroom house with pool and gardens on 865 sq m across from Belongil Beach, has long been a holiday rental at $200 per night. Initially on the market with different agents for $4m, it sold for $3.2m. This indicates the sort of price which might be achieved for the nearby Border Street blocks mentioned above.
1 Mackellar Court, Byron Bay
I have always been a fan of the area in south Byron around Beachside Drive and Coral Court. This is fairly suburban-looking but is quiet and hidden away while still being close to town and Tallows Beach.
Ray White is listing a renovated 5 bed, 3 bath home at 1 Mackellar Court, off Shelley Drive, with hopes of $1.65m–$1.75m.
116 Tandys Lane, Brunswick Heads
This is an interesting acreage that will be going cheap. The 29 Ha property has views and location but is seriously affected by highway noise – it is split in two by the highway and you will be serenaded into insomnia by the rolling thunder of B-doubles at night. Sale price is expected to hit $800K to $1M. Listed with Mark Lycos of North Coast Lifestyle Properties and to be auctioned October 9th.
Ravenford, two-storey historic home in the NSW Northern Rivers town of Grafton has hit the market for the first time in over 20 years. With four bedrooms, two kitchens AND a separate studio, it has been listed with a price guide of only $410,000 by Adam Crawley from McKimms Real Estate Grafton. Reminds me of the joke Barry Humphries used to make about Melbourne. ‘It’s a great city to live in! You can get on a plane and be somewhere interesting in only twenty-four hours.’
6 Keith Street Bangalow
Another classic is this 3 bedroom newly renovated charmer in Bangalow. Keith Street is just a hop and a skip to the bustling village of Bangalow. Looking for $1.45M with Helene Adams from First National.
18 Gardenia Court, Mullumbimby
This half-acre of vacant land on the hill high above Mullumbimby is fully serviced and ready for a build. Listed with Chincogan REA and looking for $499,000.
Stage 7 Tallowood Estate, Mullumbimby
And speaking of vacant land in Mullum, Stage 7 (the second last land release) of Tallowood Estate will go on sale early next year. If Stage 6 is any indication, the better blocks will be sold almost immediately on listing. You will need to have your name down on the list and be ready to purchase. Contact me if you would like to have a look at the site and get yourself in line.