A Palm Beach trophy home sells for $13m+ after one inspection


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One of the most private and stunning views in Palm Beach just sold to Sydneysiders after one inspection.

Just one look, that’s all it took.

Sydneysiders wanting a Palm Beach weekender didn’t muck around when they saw a designer trophy home online. They offered more than $13 million on the spot, and almost didn’t step inside before buying.

Semloh Cove Estate at 345-347 Whale Beach Rd, Palm Beach had been the summer getaway of former Channel 7 boss Ian Holmes and his wife Anne. They had commissioned acclaimed architect Walter Barda to create an inspired pavilion design in the early 2000s and they had loved the vast estate with one of the most private outlooks to be found anywhere in Sydney.



An oceanfront position on a double block.

David Edwards, of LJ Hooker Palm Beach, said Semloh Cove Estate faces north with magnificent views across Palm Beach, Barrenjoey Headland and the Central Coast.

“Enjoying the luxury of working with a double block and two titles, one parcel has been left unencumbered and beautifully landscaped; on the other sits this extraordinary residence of international standing,” Mr Edwards said.

Walter Barda at his best with pavilion-style living.

An inspiring kitchen to work in.

The four-level home with heated mosaic-tiled pool and spa, billiards room, and luxury finishes in every room came to market in 2017 with an asking price of $15 million to $16 million.

More recently that guide was revised to between $13 million and $14 million and word locally is that the exceptional oceanfront home did sell in that range.

Danielle Ford, also of LJ Hooker Palm Beach, said Sydneysiders wanting a weekender saw the estate online and knew they were going to love it.

“They viewed it on Friday and made an offer that day — they almost bought it without going inside,” she said, explaining that no appointments had been arranged that day and access was limited.


She added that the buyers had not been looking long but knew what they wanted and were quick to make a decision.

“Stock levels are quiet low and there are some great sales happening, we have the buyers,” she said.

The Palm Beach movie was filmed at an equally gorgeous spot.

This Susan Rothwell designed house in Palm Beach is the set for the Palm Beach movie directed by Rachel Ward.

The buyers also hadn’t seen the new Palm Beach movie starring Bryan Brown, Sam Neill and Greta Scacchi which was released this month so the LJ Hooker Palm Beach team gave the couple tickets to the film as a welcome to the neighbourhood.

Mr Holmes and his wife have loved hosting Christmas lunch at the home with their four children and eight grandchildren. The couple have now downsized to an apartment in Manly.

Two years ago when the property was first listed Mr Holmes revealed that his favourite room was the Lanai room fitted with enormous sliding windows that deliver an unforgettable oceanfront outlook.

Wonderful weekender.

“Walter Barda is a wonderful architect, wonderfully creative. He has this ability to create very different styles,” Mr Holmes said at the time.

Mr Holmes, now in his 80s, was a TV producer and director in the 1960s who went on to become head of Channel 10, head of the Grundy Organisation, chairman of Network Seven and director of Rural Press.

Mr Holmes has seen some of the world’s most beautiful homes, but he rates his home as the best.

“It is going to be very, very hard to say goodbye. It’ll be an emotional day for sure,” he said.

“We’ve really loved living here. We’ve been very lucky.”

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