‘Aussie’ John Symond buys Ray White Double Bay office for $21m

Aussie Home Loans founder John Symond.

‘Aussie’ John Symond has bought the Ray White Double Bay office for $21m as the prominent investor Vaughan Blank bought the Westpac building in Bondi Beach for $17m at two big commercial property auctions today.

Both auctions were at Damien Cooley’s rooms in the city this morning and Colliers National Director Miron Solomons said the Double Bay result was $5m above the reserve.

Solomons and colleague Grant Whiteman were tight-lipped about the purchaser of the prominent New South Head Road, Double Bay site, citing a confidentiality agreement, however other sources spilled the beans.

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No. 356-366 New South Head Road, Double Bay, was bought by Aussie Home Loans founder John Symond for $21m.

It had been thought the director of Developer Fortis Group, Charles Mellick, who has been snapping up a lot of Double Bay property recently, may have been the purchaser, but when contacted, he said he’d made an offer last night of $19m which had been rejected.

A spokesman for Symond this afternoon confirmed that the Aussie Home Loans founder, who had someone acting for him at today’s auction, had bought the site as a “long-term hold”.

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Symond is planning a major refurbishment once Ray White Double Bay move to their new headquarters nearby in a few years.

It was only last March, as COVID hit, that Symond sold his Alexander Tzannes-designed Transvaal Avenue, Double Bay retail property for $7.5m. The purchaser was plastic surgeon Louis Wessels, who is eventually planning to open a clinic there.

The Westpac building at 2-6 Hall Street, Bondi Beach, was bought by investor Vaughan Blank for $17m.

Solomons said the Double Bay sale was “ a huge result for Double Bay”.

There’d been six bidders up to $18m, with two fighting it out at the end.

Meanwhile, Solomons confirmed Blank was the $17m purchaser of the Westpac building at 26 Hall Street Bondi Beach.

“There’s been a huge uptick in value in Bondi Beach,” Solomons said.

The site had sold for $6.4m only eight years ago.