32 people become millionaires from one sale
By Julia Corderoy
10 February 2017
Owners of these apartments banded together to make some serious cash.
The value of good neighbours has never been so high.
These Sydney apartment owners have just become instant "millionaires"
by banding together to take advantage of the city's sizzling property
The 32 owners of the 32 one-bedroom beachfront apartments, across four
freestanding blocks in Cronulla, have potentially made themselves a
cool A$1.7 million (NZ$1.8m) each, give or take, from banding together
and selling off their properties in one package to a developer, for a
total sale price of A$54m.
The one-bedroom apartments in the four, three-storey unit blocks at
49-51 and 55-57 Gerrale Street may be dated and rundown, but sitting on
a site area of 2921 square metres just across from Sydney's iconic
Cronulla Beach, it presents prime real estate for a developer. So the
savvy owners got together and cashed in.
The real estate and property management company behind the sale, JLL,
declined to confirm the price range each owner would have received from
the sale, but given all the apartments were one-bedroom, divided evenly
between 32 would have put A$1.68m in each of their back pockets.
But the agent who negotiated the deal - which was four-and-a-half years
in the making - said the result meant most owners achieved a windfall
of two to three times the current market value of their old apartment.
"The owners of the apartments were a diverse group and included
investors, young professionals and the elderly. With a total sale price
of A$54m, each owner will take home a significantly higher sale price
for their apartment than if sold individually. Most owners achieved two
to three times the current market value of their apartments," JLL's
Dylan McEvoy said.
"The Cronulla property market has now revealed itself as quite mature
and with a deep buyer base. We will see an increase in developers in
the location as they look outside other markets with a potential
saturation of activity."
While Mr McEvoy told news.com.au that all 32 owners agreed to sell
without much pushback, the sale represents one of the first group
strata sales of this nature achieved in the New South Wales market,
following changes to the state's strata laws which came into effect on
As a part of the strata legislation overhaul, just 75 per cent of
owners are now needed to vote to "collectively sell" and redevelop
their block. Previously, just one dissenting vote could have stopped
When the reforms were announced - which garnered mixed reactions to its
many sweeping changes surrounding smoking, pet ownership and tenants
rights - Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe said it was about
"bringing strata legislation into the 21st century".
"The last major reform to strata was back in 1973, and parts of the
legislation are no longer relevant in this day and age," Mr Stowe said.
And Mr McEvoy agrees it is a positive step forward, saying the updated laws are a boon for apartment owners across the state.
"We are seeing an increase in owners inquiring about how this process
can unlock the value of their properties," he told news.com.au.
"While all 32 owners were keen to sell in this group; they were
motivated to come together by the recent changes to the legislation."
John Thomas, chairman of the group of residents at 49-51 Gerrale
Street, said it was a feat getting 32 owners across two strata
corporations to come to an agreement, but everyone has been satisfied
with the result.
"The release of Sutherland Shire's LEP2015 brought about changes to
zoning which added significant value to properties on Gerrale Street
and presented an opportunity for all owners to effect a collective
sale. There was the potential for a developer to carry out a major
development for the area containing residential and commercial units,"
Mr Thomas said.
"A number of leading developers responded to our call for 'expressions
of interest'. As you can imagine getting 32 owners across two
properties who have varying opinions and priorities was a challenge,
however with implementation of the new strata reform laws and the help
of JLL and the developer, we were able to pull together a compelling
offer for all involved."
There has been no official statement as to what the developer plans to
do with the site, but Mr McEvoy said it has potential for a nine-storey
Last year, news.com.au reported on nine private owners of 16 apartments
in Manly, on Sydney's northern beaches, who banded together in a record
deal almost a decade in the making.
The four boutique blocks at 89-90 North Steyne and 90-92 Whistler
Street, Manly, were sold in November to a developer for more than A$20m.
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