Lady Cutler lends a helping hand with Elizabeth Bay waterfront sale as price sails $115k above reserve

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Lady Cutler and Doug Doug Crosby, OAM, after the auction of 8/12-16 Billyard Ave, Elizabeth Bay, on Saturday.

It was touching to watch. Lady Cutler, 84, second wife of the late Sir Roden Cutler, the longest-serving Governor of NSW, held the hand of, 91-year-old Doug Crosby, OAM, throughout the auction of his waterfront home.

The good friends of more than two decades first met on a flight between Sydney and London — “I picked him up on a plane,” she joked, after Mr Crosby’s apartment in The Palms at 8/12-16 Billyard Ave, Elizabeth Bay went under the hammer on Saturday.

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New owner Heath Stewart, an accountant, is going to give the Billyard Ave apartment (below) a million-dollar makeover. Picture above by Jordan Shields.

In another sign of the improving market, it fetched $3,815,000 — more than $100,000 above reserve — via Ray White Elizabeth Bay’s Renee Cross and Ian Campbell.

There were four registered parties — one of them from Switzerland.

Auctioneer Jason Andrew had barely finished his opening address before Zimmermann buyer’s agent Saul Rudnick jumped in with a $3.6 million opening bid. Spirited bidding of $25,000 increments followed between Mr Rudnick and two other parties but it was no surprise the gavel fell in his favour.

Auctioneer Jason Andrew (above, picture by Jordan Shields) had barely finished his opening address before buyer’s agent Saul Rudnick made his opening bid for the waterfront apartment in The Palms, (below).

Mr Rudnick’s client, accountant Heath Stewart, who is moving from a house in Alexandria once owned by Ita Buttrose, said: “I always wanted a harbour view”, adding that he’d “bought well”.

It seemed everyone was happy, with Mr Crosby saying: “In a depressed market, I think I did OK.” Though not as depressed as last spring, when a Palms unit with a high-spec renovation sat unsold for six months before eventually selling for $4.7 million in March.

Vendor Doug Crosby (above, picture by Jordan Shields) and the terrace of the apartment with the harbour pool beyond where he used to swim regularly (below).

Mr Crosby’s unit is in original condition — Mr Stewart is planning a million-dollar renovation.

Ms Cross said: “It was a really positive campaign with 92 groups through.”

Mr Crosby, given his Order of Australia in 1995 for services to the dairy industry and golf, bought the unit for $990,000 the same year, swimming in the harbour pool until recently. He’s moving to Trebartha luxury retirement resort, downstairs from Lady Cutler. “He’ll be just a lift ride away,” she chuckled.

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