16 Hillside Crescent, Hamilton Hill, offers five bedrooms, two bathrooms and four car spaces
Hamilton Hill in Brisbane’s inner north is alive with the sound of builders.
A renovation boom is sweeping the prestigious area on a scale local property agents have not seen in recent years.
Sotheby’s International Realty senior sales executive Tyson Clarke says surging confidence in Brisbane’s high-end property market is driving the building blitz.
“It’s either new owners or existing owners knocking down and reinvesting, and building massive big homes in a money’s-no-object scenario,” Clarke says.
“Some of the things that are being built up there are just phenomenal in terms of the excavation and earthworks.
“They’re like construction sites you’d see around the city.”
He says many of the “dream homes” had been years in the making, in collaboration with architects and builders.
“When you’re spending that kind of serious money, they want something unique and people are looking to do something their neighbours are not,” Clarke says.
“The properties have some incredible features. Just about all have internal elevators; one I sold had a 50m tunnel leading to the garage, and another had a two-lane bowling alley.”
Caroline Darvill, of C&R Darvill Builders, says they regularly worked with interior designers to achieve their client’s vision for a house in the area.
34 Mullens Street, Hamilton Hill, is regarded as an iconic masterpiece
“We’ve done $2 million-$3m renovations,” Darvill adds. “It’s not really about adding value, it’s mostly about getting what they want. People move into a house that’s not set up the way they want it so they give it a total makeover.”
Ray White New Farm real estate agent Christine Rudolph says
Hamilton Hill’s blue chip reputation could be traced back to the days of the “first settlers” who singled out the area as the most desirable place to live.
“Many of the first settlers were fairly wealthy people who were part of the aristocracy in England, and they saw Hamilton Hill as a place to own valuable real estate,” Rudolph says.
“That’s why you’ve got these incredible allotments.”
The grand mansions command enormous attention from passers-by and the owners spare no expense on general upkeep, she adds.
“Tradespeople are out there every week to keep them in immaculate condition,” Rudolph says.
“People do regard them as something special, as beautiful gems, and they want to keep them preserved.”
Property turnover is rare, with many of the homes staying within the same family for decades.
Nikos and Robyn Pappas have been in their mansion Marie Ville for 30 years and only recently decided to sell, because of their “empty-nester” status and the work involved in the magnificent terraced garden.
Modern architecture of 7 Mullens Street, Hamilton Hill
“It’s been a very happy house and we’ve loved living here,” Robyn Pappas says.
Place Ascot agent Loretta Douris says it’s an area people find hard to leave.
“People can’t replace the position. The views are so amazing, the breezes are so amazing and it’s just a really prestige address,” she adds.
“So rather than moving — because they’re in the best position possible — they’re staying and renovating.”
Those that did sell up tended to be “downsizing” to penthouse and sub-penthouses, says Douris.
“There’s a whole lot of new apartment buildings that have gone up around Brisbane, and people who’ve lived on Hamilton Hill for 30 to 35 years are seeing the opportunity to go,” Douris says.
“Then the people who are buying their homes are renovating, which is why there’s so much construction happening at the moment.”
Clarke says those undertaking renovations could be confident of getting a good return on their big investment.
“In the past 12 months, there’ve been houses sold for $8.8m, for $11m and for $7.6m on Hamilton Hill,” he says.
“Those prices are not uncommon.
“It’s by far and away the most expensive real estate in Brisbane.”