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‘Rightsizers’ storm the SAS home of Swanbourne in Perth

By Drew Dwyer

We speak to the team behind the most intriguing recent property sale.

The property: A five-bedroom house with pool and cellar on 810sq m at 17 Devon Road, Swanbourne, Western Australia. Sold off-market for $5.35 million.

Who was the agent/agency? Deb Brady, Ray White Cottesloe Mosman Park.

The five-bedroom house at 17 Devon Road, in Perth’s inner-western Swanbourne sold off-market for $5.35 million. 

How long was this on the market? [Brady] 
I did it off-market.

Why did this one sell? Because it is the most stunning home with a north-facing garden, with a beautiful pool. It’s got right-of-way access views of the city. You can walk to the beach, to the village. It’s pretty easy access back through to West Perth.

Was it overpriced? No. It is the market. People in Perth, if they can find something beautiful, are prepared to pay for it.

What did you think it would go for? I thought it would go for that. It’s comparable to a beautiful Peppermint Grove home or a Claremont home or a Cottesloe home.

What was surprising about it? Three years ago you’d have people saying “We only want to live in Cottesloe, we only want to live on the south side of North Street.” There’s been a psychological line down the middle of North Street, between Cottesloe and Swanbourne.

The former “psychological” barrier of North Street that kept Cottesloe buyers out of Swanbourne has fallen, agent Deb Brady says.  Google

Now that border has come down. Psychologically, that barrier is gone and there is as much interest in Swanbourne as in Cottesloe.

There was always a reduction, a discount if it was Swanbourne. That’s gone. We’re getting prices matching Cott prices.

I don’t want to call them downsizers, but the rightsizers who were looking two years ago, two-and-a-half years ago to move for a sea change – they are on the market. They’re coming from Nedlands, Dalkeith, they’re coming from the even leafier parts of Claremont, and they are rightsizing all the way around Allen Park. Previously, they wouldn’t have even looked there.

Why not? They wanted to be closer to the river or were just on a bigger land holding. They are smaller land holdings there. It’s a smaller suburb than Cottesloe. It has the most amazing combination of beachfront, beautiful Allen Park and the bush reserves.

Lots in Swanbourne are typically smaller than surrounding inner-western Perth suburbs, but that – along with a shortage of stock elsewhere – is driving demand. 

Historically, Swanbourne has more of the workers’ cottages and it was workers. It had some war service homes there and veterans who came back. It was more of workers’ type cottage homes, little timber homes. It was more modest, whereas Cottesloe was more prestigious.

When I was growing up in Swanbourne and walking the dog to the beach, I always thought it was beautiful, but I didn’t live in the prestigious Cottesloe.

The SAS are there. They’re right on the beachfront. They’ve got the most amazing spot – they’ve got some of the most expensive real estate in the country there!

Did having the Campbell Barracks there put people off the suburb?

I think I felt really safe with them there.

What was the profile of these buyers? There is also a bit of a generational change. There are people upgrading within the suburb, trying to move closer to the beach. They were a young local couple. They lived close by in Claremont, in an apartment. They were wanting more space.

I had a seller who said “If you’ve got qualified buyers in your database and can achieve a good market price for us we’d be happy to sell off-market. Otherwise, we’ll sell in a couple of years.”

Not only has the border come down, but the prices we’re getting here are very good as well.

Do you reckon we’ll see another result like this: a) next week b) next year c) next cycle d) never?

a) Last week! I’ve done another deal which hasn’t even settled.

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