Sydney’s crazy real estate market served up an ace result yesterday when a 900sqm former tennis court on Woolwich Rd in Hunters Hill sold at auction for $3.55 million.
The grass tennis court was once part of the house next door but was recently subdivided and the new owner is planning to build a family home on the block.
The buyer, who did not want his named published, said he felt the opportunity to build a home from scratch in such a sought-after location was too hard to pass up.
“We love Hunters Hill and really wanted to build,” he said. “I probably spent $100,000 more than I was planning to, but it’s such a great stretch of land.”
Veteran auctioneer David Scholes said such prime blocks were becoming increasingly scarce as the lifestyle of Sydneysiders became less sprawled out and more compact.
“I remember as a kid going to play tennis every week in our local neighbourhood,” he said. “I think with a tennis court now most people would maybe only use it five, six times a year if they’re lucky.”
Selling agent Matthew Ward of Ward Partners said it was “phenomenal” to call game, set and match at $3.55 million considering the reserve price was $3.3 million.
The opening bid was $2.9 million and there were three registered bidders.
“It just shows how much demand there is for blocks that are blank canvases,” he said. “People say it’s a softer market, but good properties still sell very well.”
Homeowners within inner- and middle-ring suburbs are now snapping off pieces of their properties to sell to builders, who are often prepared to pay millions for “shovel ready” blocks due to an ongoing land shortage.
The building boom is swallowing up tennis courts, excess backyard space and swimming pools, replacing tracts of suburbia once brimming with recreation facilities with smaller lots of homes.
The tennis court sale followed on the heels of a property sale in Wollstonecraft on the lower North Shore, where the owners divided off their swimming pool to create a 546sqm lot that sold for $2.23 million.
A Russell Lea couple recently sold their subdivided driveway and part of their backyard for $1.05 million.
In nearby inner west suburb Strathfield, the garden and tennis court of a luxury home on Woodside Avenue have been split into two blocks of 500sqm.
Selling agent Norman So will be taking the lots to auction in April with expectations of $2.2 million each. “They’ve already attracted a lot of interest,” Mr So said.
“The land value alone is worth way more than if was going to continue to be used as a tennis court.”