Flight to quality: Unit in Renzo Piano’s Macquarie Apartments sells for record price at auction


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No. 49/155 Macquarie St, Sydney sold at auction.

The $5.165 million record-breaking sale of a unit in the Renzo Piano-designed Macquarie Apartments at auction today is yet another encouraging sign for the spring property market.

And agents say it also indicates a flight to quality as apartment buyers become more selective after the Mascot Towers and Opal Tower debacles.

“It’s not going to catch fire and they’re aren’t going to be any nasty surprises,” Sotheby’s agent Harriet France said.

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Architect Renzo Piano. Photo: Belen de Benito

The award-winning Macquarie Apartments

Ms France, with colleague Tony Barron and co-agent Francis Fusco of Ray White CBD, had a $4.6 million price guide for the three-bedroom unit at 49/155 Macquarie St.

But the price went way beyond that, with five bidders registering and all competing at the hot auction in the city this morning.

“To have five bidders all strongly competing at this level is a very positive sign,” Ms France said afterwards.

The living room and wintergarden at 49/155 Macquarie St, Sydney.

The master suite.

The sale price of the 10th floor apartment smashed the record for a non-penthouse three-bedroom apartment, which was set just last year at $4.75 million.

“Prices literally just keep going up in this building,” Ms France said.

Apart from the improving market, she attributed the big result to buyers, now more than ever, being very careful to choose well-built apartments.

“This is a very decent architect and an iconic building,” Ms France said.

The dining room.

One of the luxurious bathrooms.

Bidding had started at $4.2 million and risen quickly. At the $4.8 million mark it dropped down to two with the gentleman bidder finally winning the day.

The Italian designer’s Macquarie Apartments won the Australian Institute of Architects’ Wilkinson Award for residential housing in 2004.

Renzo Piano also co-designed the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris; the 95-storey Shard in London and he’s also designed three towers proposed for Barangaroo.

Images of Lend Lease’s One Sydney Harbour residential towers at Barangaroo designed by Renzo Piano

At Macquarie Apartments, this three-bedroom 198 sqm apartment features a wintergarden — a major talking point when the complex was first built — with views of the harbour and Botanic Gardens through its distinctive glass louvres.

There are two bathrooms and double parking.

The vendor was Kyko Group managing director Mary Wong-Jenkings., who bought a five-bedroom home in Bell St, Watsons Bay, through Ms France for more than $4.5 million at auction in late May.

That result smashed a street record and Ms France said it was “head and shoulders” above the reserve.

Last year Ms Wong-Jenkings sold The Drawing Rooms of Berry in Woodhill for $3.8 million and her apartment in the Pomeroy, Potts Point, went for $4 million.

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