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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Millers Point home on the market again as owners expect to reap $590,000 profit

Millers Point home on the market again as owners expect to reap $590,000 profit DateJune 16, 2015 - 10:30PM 17 reading now Nicole Hasham State Politics reporter View more articles from Nicole Hasham Email Nicole A former public housing property at Millers Point has hit the market for $2.5 million. It was bought by an investor 10 months ago for just $1.91 million. Photo: Supplied A former public housing property at Millers Point is on the market again with an expected sale price $590,000 more than the government netted last year, prompting claims the sale was rushed and taxpayers were dudded. The potential resale comes as it emerged the private owner carried out illegal renovations and unlawfully ran a tourism venture from the historic 1880s property, highlighting the potential heritage issues involved in relinquishing public control of the assets. The government sold the heritage-listed harbourside home at 119 Kent Street for $1,911,000 in August last year. It was the first of 293 properties to be sold at Millers Point and The Rocks, which will eventually force about 600 public housing tenants to relocate. Before: The main bedroom when the home sold for $1.91 million last year. Photo: Supplied The four-level Victorian Italianate terrace with views over Walsh Bay had an initial price guide of more than $1 million, which was later revised to more than $1.3 million. The buyers, the Sfeir family, carried out bathroom and kitchen works which agent Harriet France, of Sydney Sotheby's International Realty, said were "not an amazing super-expensive renovation but … clean and cheerful and liveable". Ms France said the owners now expect to fetch $2.5 million for the home at auction – a price she said was in line with former government-owned properties recently sold in the same street. After: Minimal work has been done on the property since it traded 10 months ago. The government has previously been criticised for failing to prepare a business plan for the sell-off. It described the original sale as "an excellent test for the market" which confirmed buyer demand for the suburb. The City of Sydney has confirmed it ordered the new owner to remove two unauthorised partition walls and to cease renting the property for tourist accommodation. The owner agreed to comply with the orders. The spokesman said while approval was required for the kitchen and bathroom renovations, none was sought and the council's investigations are continuing. The four-level Victorian Italianate terrace has views over Walsh Bay. Photo: Supplied Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said Millers Point was one of the nation's most important conservation sites and "it is absolutely essential that the area's irreplaceable history isn't damaged or lost through misuse or misunderstanding by new owners". NSW Labor's social housing spokeswoman Tania Mihailuk said the government had rushed the sales "without any proper consideration to due process, without any proper consideration of the proper market value and the potential consequences … of what it would mean to the heritage value". She demanded the government disclose the reserve price for 119 Kent Street, and the results of any independent property valuations it received. The government says the controversial sales program, decried by critics as "social cleansing", will raise much-needed funds to build more public housing properties elsewhere and alleviate long waiting lists. The office of Housing Minister Brad Hazzard referred inquiries to a NSW Finance Department spokeswoman, who said property valuations and reserve prices were commercial in confidence. She said price guides were determined by real estate agents and selling the homes at auction allowed the market "to determine true property value". millers Millers Point: a community under the hammer The spokeswoman said the expected price increase may be due to the renovations or market conditions. Buyers agent Patrick Bright said the expected price increase begged the question: "Was it sold at the right money the first time around or was it sold a bit conservatively? I think the price guide clearly was on the low side". However Mr Bright said a strong housing market, the renovation, limited housing supply around Millers Point and "foreign investment pouring into the market" meant it was possible the home had naturally increased in value by almost $600,000.

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