Property investment

Wanda to set record for Sydney’s most expensive flat, agents say

The Chinese group’s development of a ‘global destination address’ on Sydney harbour comes as the broader market cools, and after it was forced to drop the purchase of a London property

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 09 November, 2017, 7:34pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 14 November, 2017, 5:21pm

Chinese real estate colossus Dalian Wanda Group is launching its latest luxury residential project in Sydney where agents expect the penthouse could break records with a sale price of up to A$60 million (US$46 million).

The residential-hotel development, named Wanda One Sydney, is among the tallest on the harbourfront at Circular Quay and will encompass two adjacent towers – a 59-storey luxury residential building and a 28-storey five-star hotel.

Buyers in Hong Kong are being targeted as one of three key markets alongside London and Sydney, where Wanda hopes to initially sell 60 of the 190 flats available.

The sale comes after intensified Chinese government scrutiny on Wanda’s finances. The real estate and entertainment conglomerate was recently forced to sell off part of its portfolio after concerns were raised about the amount of debt it had. The firm was also forced to pull out of its purchase of Nine Elms Square in London following pressure from Beijing over its overseas investments.

A two-bedroom unit of Wanda One Sydney would start from A$5.5 million, said Madelaine Lundgren, sales and marketing director for the development.

“The project is targeted towards the ultra high net worth market,” or those with US$30 million or more to invest, she said in Hong Kong on Thursday.

“Our vision was to create an offering that has never been seen before in Australia.”

She declined to confirm the expected price for the penthouse, or its size. Industry insiders said the development would put the city on par with London and New York in terms of price.

“The penthouse at Wanda is expected to cost up to A$60 million,” said Ivy Xiao, director of AC Property Group, which advises Chinese buyers in Australia. “Looking at that price, it is likely to be the most expensive flat in Sydney.”

Looking at that price, it is likely to be the most expensive flat in Sydney
Ivy Xiao, AC Property Group

With a similar A$60 million budget, a buyer could purchase a 5,600 square feet flat at Mount Nicholson on The Peak, which recently sold for HK$350 million (US$44.9 million).

The previous record for the most expensive flat went to the penthouse in the Opera Residences Development, also on the Sydney Harbour, which sold for about A$26 million – half the expected price for the penthouse in the Wanda development.

Yet, Australia’s biggest property market shows signs of cooling. Sydney’s housing prices fell for a second month in October, as regulatory curbs on loans favoured by property investors start to bite in the world’s second-most expensive housing market, according to data from CoreLogic.

In Australia, soaring prices have made housing affordability a huge political issue, leading authorities to limit sales of new developments to foreign buyers and joining a growing list of nations trying to clamp down on these purchases.

Lundgren said these would not dampen interest in the development.

“This product is its own market,” she said. “It’s at the very highest end. It’s affected less by general market forces.”

Xiao from AC Property Group agreed: “I predict that the demand for it from both local buyers and international buyers will be significant.”

The development is expected to be completed in mid 2022.