Alexander Phillips snags third property in Coolong Rd, Vaucluse, in controversial auction

As the Sydney market cools, top agent Alexander Phillips nabbed his third property in Coolong Rd, Vaucluse, at a contentious auction on Saturday, beating an undecided underbidder.

Chief agent Alexander Phillips snatched up his third property in Coolong Rd, Vaucluse, at a contentious auction on Saturday, beating an undecided underbidder.

Phillips had bid $6.65 million and auctioneer David Medina slammed the gavel as his main opponent, with a mask over his mouth, shouted “$6.7 million”.

But it was too late. He had already announced “I’m out” to the auctioneer; and the deal for 12 Coolong Rd was done. Phillips shook hands with Medina and the commercial agent, Sotheby’s director Michael Pallier.

“I’m very happy – you can’t go wrong with Coolong Rd – it’s the best street in Australia!” Phillips told me, as he rushed to sign the contract for the deceased estate of Elizabeth Dodds, a former kindergarten teacher at Cranbrook.

As is often the case amid talk of the housing market cooling, the smart money was buying. This latest transaction means he has purchased more than $23 million worth of exclusive street property.

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Phillips, the director of PPD Real Estate, who has plans before the board for an $8million rebuild of his $11.1million mansion down the street, was likely always going to be Saturday’s buyer of the charming 1920s three-bedroom house with wrap-around balcony at No. 12 Colong Rd, with his wife, Bridget.

He had previously bought No. 10 Colong Rd for $5.5 million in September 2020.

Prices have moved on since then and Phillips felt he got a bargain on Saturday. “I think I paid too much at the time,” he laughed. “This one evens out!”

Pallier had four registered bidders, three of whom were active.

Medina had declared the property on the market at $6.2 million, so it appears to have significantly exceeded the reservation.

Phillips had made the $4 million opening bid, which Medina jokingly said was “very ambitious” and that he would need to take out two of the three bedrooms and the parking lot at that price.

But then Phillips let him play between the other parties – the underbidder offering $4.025 million and a bidder on the phone from London raising it to $5 million.

The underbidder bid $5.05 million; the London bidder replied with $5.5 million; the underbidder came back with $5.6 million and asked the auctioneer to knock it off, saying, “I have to go – where are the keys?”

The London telephone bidder returned with $5.7m to which the underbidder said: “That scares me – $5.8m – come on! [meaning he wanted the auctioneer to sell it to him at that price].”

The London bidder offered $6 million; the underbidder declared $6.1 million; the London bidder returned with $6.15 million and the underbidder responded with $6.2 million.

Once he was “on the market”, Phillips was back in the game, bidding $6.4 million.

The knockout bid seemed to have the intended effect. The underbidder shouted, “Let him have it!”

But then he called $6.5 million. Phillips countered with $6.65 million.

The underbidder again said, “Let him have it!”

Just to be sure, Medina checked again and the man said, “I got out!”

Then, the hammer fell, because the underbidder, once again, changed his mind.

After it became clear he had missed the property, he fled, but one of Elizabeth Dodds’ daughters, Kate, said she was happy with the outcome. “It’s done,” she said.

Property records show Elizabeth, who died last December, and her husband, Graeme Dodds, bought it for $589,500 in 1993.

Kate and her siblings had grown up in Olola Ave, Vaucluse, and her family had a century-old association with the high-profile suburb.

“It was a great place to grow up – swimming in Nielson Park, close to schools and good friends,” she said.

Phillips is unlikely to lose on his purchases of Coolong Rd. His most recent are just opposite the four blocks that Menulog founder Leon Kamonov bought for $80 million in 2016. He is currently building a designer mansion at the $120 million waterfront.

Originally published as Alexander Phillips grabs third property in Coolong Rd, Vaucluse in controversial auction

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