$12.5m masterpiece sells despite corona virus
Can you imagine building your Vaucluse dream home over 10 years, but then deciding to move to the UK so having to sell … and then the coronavirus crisis hitting just as you list?
That was the grim reality for acclaimed artist David Egan and his design consultant wife, Eleni, who gave Harriet France of Sotheby's the task of selling Eze House at 33 Parsley Rd with a $12.5 million guide.
And 66 days later, the sold sticker went up at midnight on the five-bedroom, six-bathroom residence that had a pool and harbour views.
France was bound by a confidentiality agreement, but said the price was 'in line' with the guide.
And both she and her clients are happy.
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"It's been a rocky ride for them and they've got very mixed emotions," France says.
"They're very happy with the result, but they bought the property 13 years ago and a lot of creativity and energy has gone into this house.
"They built it for their forever home, but a lot happens in one's lifetime and 13 years … they have connections in Europe and the UK and they wanted to live this chapter of their lives there.
"That meant they had to part with this home."
She said they'd love to build something similar in Europe - perhaps in Eze, the tiny town between Nice and Monaco that inspired the name of their Vaucluse house.
"It's one of the most beautiful places in the world and this setting in Vaucluse surrounded by nature and overlooking Parsley Bay reminded them of being in a house in Europe in the south of France."
The agent said there had been "many" offers during the campaign, with private inspections often lasting four hours with interested parties, but ultimately the home sold to an eastern suburbs family who had sold their previous home some months ago.
"People viewed it four, five and six times … I don't know why I didn't stay the night," she joked.
"There are lots of qualified buyers, which just shows you how understocked the market is for quality homes."
She says while the market is packed full of bargain hunters, there are also plenty of cashed up families out looking who are ready to commit, many who have sold in months leading up to the pandemic.
There were also lots of people from overseas interested. "We had a lot of competition from overseas and interstate," she said.
She organised lots of viewings over Facetime while other interested parties sent family members.
"Some were expats and we also had people from Europe and America and Asia …
some of them were stuck in China or wherever but were serious about buying here."
She said the market for quality prestige homes was "actually quite strong", despite the pandemic.
"It's funny how all it takes is a good piece of property to really bring out the buyers," she said.
"Good properties will always sell, what's harder to sell are homes with foibles."
David Egan, who was a finalist in the Wynne and Sulman in recent years at the Art Gallery of NSW, and Eleni, the designer and property developer/investor who previously worked in fashion with Akira and ran her own fashion PR business, have relocated to Europe to be centrally located between the Europe and US art markets.
Property records show that the couple purchased what had been a rundown ramshackle seven-bedroom 1920s era house with "exceptional potential" on its 955 sqm block for $4,075,000 in 2007.
Originally published as $12.5m Vaucluse masterpiece sells