Former Seaforth Commonwealth Bank branch sells at auction for a whopping $7.645M

Big sale – they Seaforth CBA site.

A former Commonwealth Bank of Australia branch on Sydney’s northern beaches has sold for a massive $7.645m in an action-packed auction.

The 675sqm freehold property at 539-541 Sydney Rd, Seaforth, has been owned by the CBA for more than 60 years.

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It went under the hammer with Cooley Auctions, and was marketed by Colliers director Tom Appleby and national director Harry Bui.

Eleven bidders registered for the online auction, a mix of owner occupiers, investors and developers.

Bidding started at $4.2m, and after an incredible 63 bids, the property sold under the hammer for $7.645m.

Mr Appleby would not reveal the identity of the buyer, however it is understood the purchaser intends to covert the bank into a large format retailer.

The property has a total floor area of 393sqm and currently comprises three retail tenancies.

The Seaforth CBA site.

The land B2 zoning allows for future shop-top housing development (subject to council approval).

“Trophy retail investments have long been tightly held and highly coveted by investors,” Mr Appleby said.

“With the recent shifts in consumer behaviour including the faster than expected shift to digital, Colliers has observed widespread reductions in banks’ floorspace requirements. They’re no longer the ‘safe’ bet they once were.

“That said, with the record lower-for-longer interest rate environment, and generally favourable underlying planning controls, occupiers and developers now seemingly have an insatiable appetite for these type of opportunities.”

Mr Bui said the auction campaign generated over 200 inquiries across Australia, highlighting the strength of demand from private investors for commercial property in Sydney metro markets.

He said at least 10 of the underbidders from the Seaforth auction have about $60m worth of capital ready to deploy on premium investment properties.

The sale follows a recent string of bank sales on the north shore, including the St George Bank branch on Walker Street in North Sydney, the Westpac branch on The Corso in Manly, the ANZ branch in Mona Vale, CBA branches in Dee Why and Collaroy, Westpac branches in Avalon and Narrabeen, among others.

291-293 Condamine St, Manly Vale.

Last month the NAB site in Mosman was listed for sale but the auction has since been postponed. In total, the big four banks have closed, or plan to close, 350 branches around Australia between January 2020 and December 2021.

Mr Appleby said property prices in Seaforth and surrounding suburbs have benefited from the Beaches Link tunnel approval that is set to be operational by 2028.

7 Hayes St, Balgowlah.

He said a recent price report identified Seaforth as recording the steepest median property price spike of all NSW suburbs over the past year, soaring 39.3 per cent.

Colliers also recently sold 291-293 Condamine St, Manly Vale for $2.7m and 7 Hayes St Balgowlah for $2.03m.

Further to this 202 and 204 Condamine Street Manly Vale also recently sold for $7.5m.