Sydney auctions: demand for multi-generational living pushes up prices for prized homes

Alex and Catarina Kouz, with daughter Lara and fiance Angelo, bought a Caringbah house. Picture: David Swift


Two generations of a Caringbah South family joined forces to beat stiff competition at auction for their neighbour’s house with water views.

The family paid $1.897m for the Cumbee Lane house with views of the Port Hacking waterway and Royal National Park, beating “spirited” bidding from three of the six registered parties.

The price was $47,000 over the $1.85m reserve and well above the $1.59m-$1.75m guide the property was listed at in a previous sales campaign last year.

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It was the first time the property changed hands in almost 40 years but buyer Alex Kouz said his family had eyed the home for some time and even made an offer on it a few years ago. “We were hoping to get the property for $1.75m and were prepared to go a bit higher at the auction but we got emotional … we just love the view,” Mr Kouz said.

Caringbah Auction

Auctioneer Andrew Cooley received an opening bid of $1.6m. Picture: David Swift


The family plan to build the home up a level to capitalise on the views and make it dual occupancy, he added.

The idea is for Mr Kouz and wife Catarina to live on the top level and daughter Lara and fiance Angelo to occupy the bottom.

“Multi-generational living is becoming a reality in Sydney,” Mr Kouz said. “We’re becoming a bit like Italy, where multiple generations of family are under one roof. How else do you do it these days?”

Caringbah Auction

The Kouz family celebrate after winning the auction.


Mr Kouz lives in a nearby home with a similar view and will be selling the property to downsize into the “parent’s retreat” they will build at the Cumbee Lane property.

The auction made him confident about selling his existing home. “Seeing how many people were prepared to spend at this auction was encouraging,” he said. “The market certainly hasn’t gone cold.”

Selling agent Reno Santaguida of Cronulla Real Estate said the property was on a tightly held street and attracted a lot of buyer interest in the lead up to the auction.

Caringbah Auction

The exterior of the house was relatively unchanged from the 1960s.


Caringbah Auction

The Cumbee Lane property had prized Port Hacking views.


“It was a great result,” he said. “In areas like this, where you’re by the water, we’re seeing some families spending a bit more.

“They won’t be able to go on holidays for a few years so they will spend extra on real estate … with this property, with that position over the water, you don’t need to travel.”

Co-agent Peter Leckie of Abode Property said the bidding was “spirited” considering the exterior of the property had remained relatively unchanged since the 1960s.

Auctioneer Andrew Cooley received an opening bid of $1.6m immediately after starting proceedings and the offers went up in $50,000 increments for most of the auction.

There was strong bidding across much of Sydney’s south over the weekend – a five-bedroom house on Peninsular Rd in Grays Point sold under the hammer for $1.868m. All four of the registered bidders submitted offers.

In Engadine, a three-bedroom house on Baringa Rd sold for $990,000, $40,000 over reserve.

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Auctioneer Andrew Cooley said the buyer pool was a mix of first homebuyers and young families upsizing. “(It’s) extremely rare homes on this street come on the market.”

The prospect of multi-generational living was also what drove buyers to a large Strathfield house.

14 Meredith St, Strathfield sold for $3.3m.


The seven-bedroom house spread across three levels sold under the hammer for an unexpected $3.3m.

Selling agent Greg Emerton of Devine Real Estate said the property on Meredith St was expected to sell for closer to the $3m mark but attracted strong bidding on the day.

“It’s very large and good for a multi-generational family,” Mr Emerton said. “It requires a bit of work but it is an excellent build.”

On the north shore, an upsizing family splashed out the highest price for an established house in Ryde recorded so far this year, paying just under $3m.

Five bidders registered for the Kuppa Rd house in Ryde.


The five-bedroom house on Kuppa Rd attracted five registered bidders and the $2.987m price was $87,000 over the $2.9m reserve.

Selling agent Michael Dowling of McGrath-Ryde said the owner had an original reserve of $2.8m but bumped it higher on account of the strong buyer interest.

“The vendor would have accepted around $2.8m or slightly above so this was a pretty amazing result,” Mr Dowling said. CoreLogic sales records showed the property last sold in 2006 for $671,000 but the original home was knocked down and replaced with a larger, modern house.

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