1 March 2021

Wild housing market generates record breaker in Torrens

| Sharon Kelley
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Front exterior of 74B Gouger Street in Torrens.

74B Gouger Street, Torrens, recently sold off-market for a record price. Photo: Supplied.

Canberra’s housing market continues to reach new heights with a sale in Torrens recently smashing the suburb’s price record prior to listing.

Independent Woden and Weston Creek’s team of Jonathan Charles and Dominic Sisa broke the Torrens record with the off-market sale of 74B Gouger Street. The four-bedroom, two-bathroom home sold for $1,850,000, beating the previous record by $310,000.

“The home is a high-end build with a beautiful pool off the side of the lounge room,” says Jonathan. “It’s something you can’t go and buy this weekend at another auction.”

The home is a modern duplex built on a former Mr Fluffy site by JRG Constructions. It was designed by architect Alessandro D’Ambrosio from Arkitex, and the interiors were designed by Louise Kitchenside from Department of Design.

“The builder has done an amazing job,” says Jonathan. “It’s all handcrafted. It was a good combination of the design, the builder and myself picking what the market would do, and the way the market is at the moment.”

Jonathan says the home sold off-market as buyers are approaching him to find a property for them in the current real estate market. He adds that off-market sales often match or surpass prices on the open market.

“We’re getting offers before we go to market,” he says. “There’s a lot of reasons people don’t want to go to market. If you’ve got the right price, and a buyer and seller, you can achieve high prices.

“A lot of people want to buy at the moment, and those who want to buy will reach out to their agent to find a property that suits them.

READ ALSO Suburb records fall with auctions achieving record prices

“It’s a really nice feeling to be able to give them that service. It gives me a lot of job satisfaction.”

Jonathan encourages both buyers and vendors to reach out to their estate agents for sales. He says market conditions mean people are anxious and stressed about buying due to the current high levels of competition.

“People reach out and tell you what they want, which saves a headache for vendors and buyers,” he says. “It’s a wild market and a lot of people are getting upset and anxious.”

Interior of home at 74B Gouger Street in Torrens.

The kitchen overlooks the living area, dining room and pool in this beautiful Torrens home. Photo: Supplied.

The luxurious Torrens home features high ceilings with double-height spaces up to 5.5 metres above the kitchen and dining areas.

The kitchen has a walk-in pantry and overlooks the dining area on one side and the family room with a gas fireplace on the other, as well as through glass floor-to-ceiling windows and the inground pool.

Upstairs, there are three bedrooms, all with built-in robes, and a family bathroom, making a more secluded and contained sleeping zone.

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chewy14. Can you please provide some evidence that MOST owners got a price well in excess of the open market. What market? These owners were forced to leave at a date and for a price of the government’s choosing. The government allowed the houses to be filled with a known carcinogen, cynically took stamp duties each time it changed hands and then the bunny left holding the deeds when they finally decided to do something about it was evicted. It was impossible to buy a comparable house in the same suburb, so the prices given were certainly not market value.

You clearly werent following it too closely if you think that was the case.

Firstly, the ACT government didn’t let anything happen to these houses because it didn’t exist when they were built or filled with asbestos.

Secondly, the market is the open property market, there wasn’t a special one created for these properties.

Each property was given two independent valuations as if the house did not have asbestos with the average of the two valuations chosen. If they didn’t like those two, they could even pay for a third.

And even then, they didn’t have to sign on to the scheme if they didn’t want to.

Owners were also given numerous avenues of assistance at the time and had first right of refusal to buy the block back after the government had cleared it. Which also means if they chose that option, they didn’t have to pay a cent towards demolition or remediation.

The valuations given naturally erred on the higher side of market value because of the political pressure involved and the ignoring of the properties flaws, which is why there was no over the top outcry from owners afterwards. They made out very nicely indeed. Really, the only way they lost money is if they had overcapitalised or recently fully renovated, which was a tiny fraction of the overall.

What a (terrible) joke. This house has vast spaces to both heat and cool. There appears to be no room for a garden of any sort – let alone some cooling trees. And this government is almost entirely to blame. They underpaid some poor family for their Fluffy block and then on-sold it to a developer. The rest of the blame goes to the greedy developer and the buyer who obviously think this is the epitome of modern housing. There should be a huge environmental tax placed on these ridiculous dwellings.

Why on earth do you think the government underpaid the previous Mr Fluffy owners?

The government could have done nothing and let the owners sort it out and the prices the owners received were all generous, most owners got a price well in excess of what they would have been able to achieve on the open market.

Spot on Chewy. While I don’t like the house or design in particular, the thought that somehow the Government underpaid for the previous property is fallable. Especially given (unlike many problems in this town) it wasn’t a problem caused by them (the ACT Government) in the first place.

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