PHOTO: Alexander Phillips

Leading agent Alexander Phillips snapped up his third property in Coolong Rd, Vaucluse, at a controversial auction on Saturday, beating an indecisive underbidder.

Phillips had bid $6.65m and the auctioneer, David Medina, had slammed down the gavel as his main opponent, with a mask over his mouth and standing well behind Phillips, yelled out: “$6.7m.”

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But it was too late. He’d already announced “I’m out” to the auctioneer; and the deal for 12 Coolong Rd was done. Phillips was shaking hands with both Medina and the sales agent, Sotheby’s principal 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 the underbidder and a few others debated the timing of the gavel falling, he raced 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 property market cooling, the smart money was out buying. This latest deal means he’s bought more than $23m worth of property in the exclusive street.

The charming facade of the 1920s semi.

The charming facade of the 1920s semi.

An aerial view of the property.

An aerial view of the property.

Phillips, the PPD Real Estate principal, who has plans before council for an $8m rebuild of his $11.1m mansion up the street, was probably always going to be Saturday’s buyer of the charming 1920s three-bedroom semi with wraparound balcony at No.12 Coolong Rd, with his wife, Brighid.

He’d already bought No.10 Coolong Rd for $5.5m in September, 2020.

Prices have moved on since then and Phillips reckoned he’d got a good deal on Saturday. “I think I paid too much back then,” he laughed. “This one evens it out!”

Pallier had four registered bidders with three active.

Medina had declared the property on the market at $6.2m, so it looks to have gone well over the reserve.

Phillips had made the opening bid of $4m, which Medina jokingly declared “very ambitious” and that he’d need to take out two of the three bedrooms and the parking at that price.

But then Phillips let it play out between the other parties — with the underbidder offering $4.025m and a bidder on the phone from London upping it to $5m.

The front balcony.

The front balcony.

The dining room opens through glass doors to the back yard.

The dining room opens through glass doors to the back yard.

The underbidder offered $5.05m; the London bidder countered with $5.5m; the underbidder came back with $5.6m and called on the auctioneer to knock it down to him now saying: “I’ve gotta go — where are the keys?”

The London phone bidder came back 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 $6m; the underbidder said $6.1m; the London bidder came back with $6.15m and the underbidder replied with $6.2m.

Once it was “on the market”, Phillips was back in the game, offering $6.4m.



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