PHOTO: The 1963-built residence on 1975 square metres was previously owned by Frederick Chilton, son of Brigadier Sir Frederick Chilton, and sold to commercial property businessman John Virgona and his wife Anna in 2011 for $2.1 million.

In the high-end real estate market of the upper north shore, a prominent figure named Alex Chao Duan has made waves with his recent purchase of a magnificent property worth $20.5 million. This acquisition, previously owned by commercial property businessman John Virgona and his wife Anna, not only shattered local records but also became the first sale to break the prestigious $20 million threshold in the area.

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The Virgona residence underwent a stunning transformation by Playoust Churcher Architects prior to its record-breaking sale.

However, little information is available about the individual who has now elevated the upper north shore’s housing market to an esteemed status of trophy homes. Duan’s representative, the buyer’s agent involved in the transaction, made it clear that his client prefers not to discuss his business or property interests in Australia. Selling agent Gary Ward from C21 similarly remained tight-lipped about the details.

Sydney luxury property


Fortunately, corporate records shed some light on Duan’s background. He serves as a director for OMC Electronics, the Australian distributor of the Chinese smartphone brand Oppo. Formerly known as Oppo China-Australia, the company’s recent financial report reveals a net loss of $8.2 million for the last fiscal year, with liabilities exceeding total assets by $48 million. Despite this, Duan’s significant real estate investment demonstrates his confidence in the market.

Sydney’s business leaders are seizing opportunities in the property market ahead of the traditional spring selling season, aiming to sell, purchase, or settle before any decisive market movements occur in the second half of the year.

As for other notable transactions, the four-bedroom house in Clifton Gardens, purchased for $1.1 million in 1993, has returned to the market under the guidance of De Brennan’s Jonathon De Brennan. Although an official price guide has yet to be established, expectations hover around $10 million.