Inside Palmy-wood: who’s making deals on the blue-chip southern beaches

Mansions on the sand and cranes in the sky along exclusive Jefferson Lane in Palm Beach. Picure: supplied/Chris Hyde

It is known as Palmy-wood for its oceanfront mansions and celebrity homeowners, while cranes loom overhead fast-tracking luxury apartment towers.

Jefferson Lne has long been regarded as Palm Beach’s most exclusive address, and in 2021 the idyllic stretch reigns as the epicentre of Australia’s love affair with blue-chip Coast real estate.

It’s been more than 20 years since motorsport legend Mick Doohan splashed $1.4 million on a corner block for his high-end home build along the narrow service road between the highway and the beach.

Seven Group Holdings CEO Ryan Stokes owns two oceanfront mansions.

His sometime neighbours include world surf champ Kelly Slater, who paid $2.15 million for a whole-floor apartment in 2015; and billionaire Clive Palmer, who snapped up an oceanfront RSL prize home for $3.9 million last year.

Traditionally, entry tickets to this A-lister’s playground have been scarce, yet millions of dollars of property has changed hands in high-profile deals in recent weeks.

Seven Group Holdings CEO Ryan Stokes splurged on a $4.625 million, three-level home at no 39, effectively bagging a double block at the water’s edge after his 2016 purchase of the mansion next door for $3.375 million.

Federal Defence Minister Peter Dutton sold his luxury home for $6 million.

Federal Defence Minister Peter Dutton sold his holding at no 109 for $6 million, pocketing a tidy profit on the $2.325 million he paid in 2014.

And even some of the most tightly held original beach shacks have slipped onto the market as buyers continue to turn up the heat.

Sandwiched between two trophy homes at the shoreline, the four-bedroom cottage for sale at 99 Jefferson Lane has been held by the same family for an incredible 83 years.

This absolute beachfront cottage has been held by the same family for 83 years.

And with a spot like this, why would you leave?

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Marketing agent Scott Wagner, of Scott Wagner Beachfront Brokers, said he had fielded inquiry for the 575sq m lot from expat buyers, keen to base themselves among the area’s flourishing café culture once international borders re-open.

“It is certainly very unusual to have contact with a family who’s owned a property pre-World World Two, and this is one of only around 17 original absolute beachfront shacks left on the Gold Coast,” Mr Wagner said.

The world-class surf break lured champ Kelly Slater who bought a different apartment in this building.

Few buyers spoke of maintaining the home for its vintage charm, with most seeing value only in the land.

The property is being sold via an expressions of interest campaign closing June 28.

Tyler Wagstaffe, of JW Prestige Agents, has handled several sales along the sun-soaked strip, most recently a shack on a 412sq m block over the road from the beach.

It sold off-market for the first time in more for 30 years for $1.921 million, trumping the $1.6 million sale last July of no 166 – a five-bedroom residence with two flats and a pool offering good rental return.

“Number 166 was the first sale I made on the street and that was probably one of the best homes I’ve sold here, and it sold for the least,” Mr Wagstaffe said.

“Demand has grown massively. There are plenty of cashed-up buyers trying to get into that pocket and secure a piece of land and they’re not so concerned about the house.”

“As like we’ve seen elsewhere on the Gold Coast, with more affluent people moving from capital cities it is changing the dynamic and especially in Palm Beach.

“Five to ten years ago there weren’t too many people who wanted to live there, and they certainly weren’t fighting over Jefferson Lne like they are now,” he said.

Sales of new apartments in Palm Beach peaked at 175 in the first three months of 2021 – the highest quarterly result on record. Picture: supplied/Chris Hyde

Sales of new apartments in Palm Beach peaked at 175 in the first three months of 2021 – the highest quarterly result on record, and more than last year’s entire unit sales of 162, new figures from Urbis show.

Towers are selling out fast off the plan, among them 488 Perspective, Two Sea Perspective, The Monroe, Cabana and Siarn. Just 19 new apartments remained for sale at the end of March.

Urbis senior consultant Lynda Campbell said Palm Beach accounted for 42 per cent of all new apartment sales in the southern beaches precinct, running from Mermaid Beach to the Tweed Coast.

What would it take for this homeowner to sell? picture: supplied/Chris Hyde

“Urbis is monitoring three projects containing 176 apartments which may launch to market in the next six months. Based on the current sales rate, this may not be enough to meet current demand,” Ms Campbell said.

While rich listers maintain their base on the sands just for holidays, for long-term residents the frenetic pace of progress is disquieting.

The weekend’s auction of a prime site owned by veteran developer John Potter and fronting Gold Coast Hwy and Jefferson Lne attracted heavy inquiry from players eyeing the block for their next medium-density money maker.

But equally, locals were on the front foot, considering shelling out for the 549sq m beachside lot just to protect their patch of paradise from being overshadowed by yet another new development.

Around 100 residents lined the street as the rare vacant block sold under the hammer to a Melbourne-based developer for $2.4 million — an incredible $1 million more than Mr Potter had paid when it was acquired just three months earlier.

John Potter shelved plans to build a nine-level apartment tower here. It was marketed for auction by Jared Johnson and Lachlan Marshall, of Harcourts Coastal Commercial. picture: supplied/Chris Hyde

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