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A 1920s bungalow in Tamarama that was for sale with $50 million hopes has sold, reinforcing an age-old adage that when it comes to real estate it is all about location, location, location.
Lang Syne is a local landmark thanks to its prime position on 1100 square metres of oceanfront reserve privately elevated above the popular Bondi to Bronte walk with uninterrupted views up and down the coast.
The sale is not only a record for Sydney’s eastern beaches, but the highest of its kind in any oceanfront suburb in the state.
The exact sale result will be revealed at settlement given what a well-placed source said are strict gag orders on all those involved, but secrets rarely remain as such for long when it comes to Sydney’s most expensive real estate.
Forbes Global Properties’ Ken Jacobs had listed it exclusively with a guide of $47 million to $52 million, and it sold for “close to the bottom end of the range” to a buyer represented by Simon Cohen, of Cohen Handler buyer’s agency.
Jacobs is overseas and was uncontactable at the time of publication, and Cohen declined to comment.
What makes this one of Sydney’s most significant trophy sales is not just the price, but that it is outside the traditional trophy home neighbourhoods on the harbour like Point Piper, Darling Point and Vaucluse.
What’s more, this is not acreage, like Point Piper’s $100 million Fairwater and $71 million Elaine estates owned by the Atlassian tech billionaires Scott Farquhar and Mike Cannon-Brookes, nor is it a mega-mansion in Vaucluse like La Mer or Ganeden, owned by billionaire businessmen Chau Chak Wing and Yi Huang respectively.
Lang Syne is a single-level house with four bedrooms and two bathrooms still with plenty of its original finishes and with a home-built outdoor barbecue on the lawn.
One would-be buyer described it as both “liveable” and “magical” given its generous land size and position overlooking the beach.
“This is gold,” is how architect Bruce Stafford describes it in the marketing. “You’ve got no one looking in on you. No one looking down on you. We’re actually in an urban setting believe it or not, yet it feels like we’re in the country.”
The house was built in 1924 by “boot and shoe manufacturer” George Wolf, and last traded for £9750 in 1959 when bought by radio funnyman Harry Griffiths, who at the time was part of a comedy sketch McCackie Mansions alongside Roy “Mo” Rene.
The show went on to become one of the most listened-to shows on Australian radio, immortalising the words “Cop this, Young Harry” for a generation of listeners. Griffiths died in 2014, aged 87.
His widow Dimity Griffiths has lived at the family home since they were married in 1963, raising their two daughters and two sons above the Tamarama surf break, and preserving the site from subdivision and overdevelopment throughout the family’s 64 years of ownership.
The buyer – and their plans – remain unknown.
Before the pandemic property boom, the Tamarama house price record stood at $15.75 million set in 2019 by the house next door. It has been reset a few times since, most recently at $29.2 million for an oceanfront block of apartments set on a block half the size of Lang Syne that was purchased by socialite Di Maloneyto be redeveloped into a family duplex.