Capital Gains

Class from the past
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An executive residence with an impressive street presence in Gleneagles has hit the market as owners decide to opt for a smaller home.

The stunning property at 1 Lempriere Crescent in Kambah has been the home of Edward Richardson and family for almost two decades.

Not content to build just a normal house, Mr Richardson and his father set about building a house of dreams after buying a block of land in the suburb.

He said the first designs of the home had been so different to what was the typical house at the time in the suburb that they had had to scale them down and not build the indoor water features.

But what remains is still impressive to this day.

”There’s nothing like it – it was very cutting-edge at the time and still stands out,” Mr Richardson said.

The four-bedroom house, which sits on an almost 1180 square metre block, has high-quality finishes throughout with high ceilings, detailed cornice work and quality joinery. It has spacious formal rooms, a flexible floor plan and a high-quality kitchen with blue pearl marble benchtops.

There is a solar-heated pool, an outdoor shower, an al fresco terrace and a separate study.

The home has in-slab heating throughout, ducted vacuum, an electronic irrigation system, a fully functional dark room, an eight camera CCTV system, tinted external glass and extensive mature gardens.

Mr Richardson said he would certainly miss the serenity of the home and the fantastic location, just a short walk to the golf course.

”It will be sad to leave there because we haven’t found anything that’s close to it,” he said.

”I think the home speaks for itself.”

He said the time had come to live in a smaller home as the house was a little too large for just two adults.

1 Lempriere Crescent, Kambah, is available by negotiation through Berkely Residential agent Simon Richards.

Price guide is $1.2 million.Resort home sells

A stunning resort-style home in the Hall village sold under the hammer for $1.425 million last Saturday.

The home, at 8 Alexandra Street, was designed for families who love to entertain, with a bar, a tennis court and an indoor solar-heated swimming pool and spa.

LJ Hooker Tuggeranong agent Dan Cooper said there had been five registered bidders for the home and three had subsequently placed bids on the property.

Bidding started at $1 million and rose quickly to the sale price in front of a crowd of about 100.

There were 80 groups through during the auction campaign, and the home sold to a family with a business. Cooper said it was the highest sale price for a residential block in the Hall village.

A home on acreage at 149 Wallaroo Road just outside the village sold earlier in the year for $2.725 million.

9 Wallaroo Road just outside the village sold earlier in the year for $2.725 million.

Indicators remain subdued for Canberra housing market

The number of first-home buyers in the Canberra market has collapsed to a near-record lo. Photo: Nicki DaveyLatest data indicates the short-term prospects for the Canberra housing market remain mixed at best.
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The ABS reports that the monthly number of owner-occupied home loans approved for the purchase of properties fell by 15.2 per cent over February to just 395. This was the lowest monthly number reported since December 2012 and is a poor result despite historically low interest rates and sharply improved affordability that has activated all other capital city housing markets.

A closer look at the ABS data reveals that the number of first-home buyers in the Canberra market has collapsed to a near-record low. Just 73 loans were approved for first-home buyers over February, the lowest monthly number recorded since June 2004.

The proportion of first-home buyers in the market unsurprisingly also remains at a near-historical low, accounting for just 6.5 per cent of home loans for purchases – well below the average of 14.3 per cent.

Changes to the local treatment of the first-home buyers’ grant last year, which precluded from eligibility the purchase of established properties after August, predictably caused a rush of activity and a drawing forward of demand from this group.

But the low activity from first-home buyers shows no signs of reversing, despite generous incentives for new home purchases, the lowest interest rates on record and almost no growth in house prices over the past four years in Canberra.

Investor activity in Canberra picked up over February, with the ABS reporting a rise of 42.3 per cent in the value of home loans to this group over the month.

Happy Easter to all my readers!

Dr Andrew Wilson is senior economist for Australian Property Monitors.

Twitter: @DocAndrewWilson

Phone your auction results to 1800 817 616

Kushi life appeals

A central location, modern design and competitive pricing are attracting buyers to Kushi, the first residential development in the new Molonglo Valley suburb of Coombs. Young buyers in particular are snapping up properties in the complex.
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Developed by Pod Property Group, Kushi will consist of 80 apartments and townhouses. Thirty-six have been sold since its release in December. According to Pod Property agent James Smith about 75 per cent of these properties have been bought by first-home buyers.

One of those first-home buyers, Nathan Wagner, bought a three-bedroom townhouse with his fiance, Talia, for $439,950. Mr Wagner said they were impressed with the price and what Kushi had to offer.

”There wasn’t much affordable housing in Canberra,” Mr Wagner said. ”We’re getting married and we want to start a family. We had a look at Kushi and it looked awesome. It’s a really good location and it was a really good deal. It was too good to pass up.”

A variety of home designs are available and include one or two-bedroom apartments and two or three-bedroom townhouses. The one-bedroom apartments come with a large study and the two-bedroom townhouses have two living areas and en suite bathrooms.

All homes include airconditioning, landscaping and stylish kitchens fitted with quality Smeg appliances. Most have lock-up garaging, while the rest offer basement parking.

The townhouses feature plenty of outdoor living space and include two balconies, a courtyard and a terrace. The apartments have a balcony or courtyard. In addition to these private outdoor living spaces, there is a communal open space located at the centre of the development.

Architect Hugh Gordon said this central space, comprising a barbecue area, swimming pool and gym, was one of the standout features of Kushi. ”I think the variety of housing types in a single development and a large communal open space is quite unusual for a development like this,” Mr Gordon said.

Just 10 kilometres from the city, the Molonglo Valley district will eventually be home to several new suburbs.

Pod Property managing director Paul O’Donnell said all blocks at Coombs sold out very quickly.

”Coombs is the second suburb in the Molonglo Valley, it’s where the community hub will be set. All of it is within walking distance from Kushi,” Mr O’Donnell said.

Local amenity will include shops, ovals and parkland, and a primary school is to be built across the road.

Construction at Kushi will begin in July this year with completion expected mid-2015.

There are 44 apartments remaining at Kushi at Coombs. One-bedroom apartments are 52 to 60 square metres ($299,950 to $374,950), two-bedroom apartments are 56 to 72 square metres ($359,950 to $459,950), two-bedroom townhouses are 86 to 87 square metres ($419,950 to $459,950) and three-bedroom townhouses are 85 to 87 square metres (from $424,950). The display home, at John Gorton Drive, Coombs, will be open this Saturday and Sunday between 12.30pm and 2pm. Phone Marcus Allesch on 0424 409 873 or see kushiatcoombs爱上海同城论坛

Coast and Country

11 Evans Close, Kalaru $400,000+ 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2 car spacesBuilt 1999Land 1.01 hectaresInspection Saturday 11am-11.30amAgent Guy Higgins, 0427 944 435 and Mick Tarlinton, 0427 941 701, Tathra Beach Real EstateLast traded 2004Auction Saturday, May 17, at 11am on site
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It’s not every day that a charming mud brick home comes on to the market, but here it is on offer in the village of Kalaru.

Nestled in secluded bushland, this home exudes warmth with its timber interior and cosy living spaces.

The open-plan living area opens out to an expansive covered patio backing into bushland. The two large bedrooms upstairs have stunning cathedral ceilings and magnificent bushland views.

This property has all the privacy and serenity of a bushland retreat with the convenience of being only minutes away from the beachside township of Tathra.

90 Mount Minderoo Lane, Mittagong $995,000+ 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2 car spacesBuilt 2010Land 2 hectaresInspect Saturday, 12.15pm-12.45pmAgent Eloise Haydon, McGrath Bowral, 0408 465 585Last traded First time on the marketAuction Saturday, May 3, at 3pm

“Minderoo” is a wonderfully designed and maintained residence that has sophisticated elegance in a cool-climate wine growing region.

The home is among exclusive rural holdings and has breathtaking 180-degree mountain and park views. The master-built country retreat offers spacious open-plan living and dining, sitting room and music/TV room, a French-style kitchen with European appliances, and an elegant bay-fronted breakfast area overlooking the herb garden.

The home also has a wraparound verandah and a summer house, and is 15 minutes’ drive to Berrima.

This perfect lifestyle escape goes under the hammer next month.

15 Ranelagh Road, Burradoo $1.795 million 5 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 3 car spacesBuilt 1999Land 3547 sq mInspection By appointmentAgent Ian Rayner, Ian Rayner Real Estate, 0418 480 651Last traded 2005

Visiting this Georgian-styled home, you would be forgiven for thinking you were driving into a country estate in England.

Extensively renovated in 2003, this charming residence has everything luxury living has to offer, with five large bedrooms, formal and informal living areas and a large, quaint kitchen.

A spacious games room with open fireplace is the perfect room for a cosy night in.

Landscaped gardens not only provide a beautiful sanctuary for the owners but also offer privacy when entertaining family and friends.

Even the car accommodation is charming, with two barn-style carports and a garage.

2152 George Bass Drive, Tomakin $1.575 million 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 2 car spaceBuilt 2007Land 5.1 hectaresInspection By appointmentAgent Michael Skuse, LJ Hooker Batemans Bay, 0411 029 300Last traded First time on market

This home is not only magnificent in size but also in features and location, and has the best of country living in a coastal town.

Located on five hectares of pristine riverfront land, with nine paddocks and eight stables, this four-bedroom home has a large kitchen that overlooks the family and meals area, and opens up to the outdoor entertaining area where your friends and family will enjoy the heated pool and spa.

Step outside the front door and enjoy fishing, water-skiing and kayaking in the Tamago River or drive to the nearby beaches of Tomakin.

“He might take the crown”: Ablett snr

Illustration: Jim PavlidisFidgeting with his tie, Gary Ablett remembered his beginnings in life and football in Drouin: the cold, the rabbit pies, the borrowed gear. One early day, he said, he had to wear a pair of boots at least four sizes too big for him. They looked and felt like flippers. “All the kids were laughing at me,” said Ablett. The match began, and within six minutes he had kicked four goals – from the centre. A crooked grin played across Ablett’s face as he paused, then added: “The kids stopped laughing.”
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Eighty-odd pre-match lunchers at lowly amateur club St Mary’s Salesian laughed heartily to hear it. Ablett was there at the invitation of Norbert Graetzer, a past president of St Mary’s, also a former Hawthorn trainer. With Ablett was his sister, Fay, and her husband, Michael Tuck, the most illustrious in-laws in footy history. They had come in part to promote Smouldering Stump, an organisation aiding families and children suffering post-traumatic stress as a result of the Black Saturday bushfires five years ago. Their cause was a coup for St Mary’s.

Ablett had donned his tie in the car park, with the whistles and shouts of the reserves game carrying to him over the fence. It was an endearing touch. Everyone else was in club polos or weekend casuals, but it was as if Ablett felt he owed the club and the occasion at least this much respect.

He and the Tucks came without pretensions, other than their exploits. If they were not so instantly recognisable, you might have thought they did regular business at the local hardware shop, Ablett at the counter, Tuck as a customer. Together, they formed a premium package, but wrapped in plain, brown paper. When the raffle tickets were passed around at lunch, Tuck followed protocol to the letter: he grumbled good-naturedly, then bought 10.

But when this package was opened, of course, the room fell under a spell. The guests shut up. The dishes stopped clinking. The senior players, half-changed, clustered in the doorway. Ablett and Tuck trawled over their careers – one dazzling like no other, one lasting like no other – culminating in the wonder that was the 1989 grand final between their clubs.

At last, they arrived at the subject of Gary jnr, son of one, nephew of the other. At his journey’s beginning, young Gary said he would be happy to be half as good as his old man. Even as awards and accolades accumulated, junior always has deferred to senior, agreeing with a popular view that he was the best player the game has seen. But what of senior’s perspective? “I wouldn’t like to play on Gary,” he said. “The way he’s going, I think he might take the crown.” History might remember this moment as the St Mary’s Coronation.

Footy thrives on two sorts of bloodlines, family and club. Both were pulsing on this day. Reunited with Ablett and Tuck at lunch was Leon Rice, another Drouin original and Hawthorn premiership teammate of Tuck’s, now with the calcified bearing of an old footballer, but giving to the game still as a St Mary’s committeeman.

Al Martello missed lunch because he had stepped in at short notice to coach the St Mary’s under-22 team on the other side of town. Martello rose from St Mary’s juniors to play in Hawthorn premierships alongside Tuck and Rice, and at the end of his career to play one day for Richmond against Ablett in Ablett’s one year at Hawthorn. Martello has been back at St Mary’s these many years, a perennial at training and matches, performing whichever unglamorous task the club needs.

Ablett, incidentally, said he regretted that Hawthorn had not worked out for him. This was not a repudiation of Geelong, a club and town he said had suited him temperamentally. It was an honest reflection on the sort of decisions made at forks in the road that punctuate most people’s lives; it is just that Ablett’s have been more public than most. We fans have the luxury to think only of how different the legend of the 1989 grand final might have been if Ablett had not left Hawthorn, and to be grateful again for the way it did play out.

Though booked only for lunch, Ablett and the Tucks were still in the clubrooms at half-time in the seniors, yarning away. Ablett seemed wholly at ease among this salt of the football earth. A reserves player who had kicked 11 goals ended up with the souvenir of a lifetime: a happy snap, him holding up 10 fingers, Ablett one.

Ablett was at his most poignant when dwelling on a topic recently elevated by Nick Riewoldt and Wayne Carey: the challenges of life after football and the sense many players have of losing their bearings. “All they know is football, and it’s gone,” he said. “They don’t know who they are any more. They lose their identity.”

Rejoined the ever-dry Tuck, as only a brother-in-law could: “I’ve got my identity. I had to show it to the police last night.”

Fay Tuck laughed as if she had never heard it before.