The upper north shore’s prestige property market is showing overdue signs of momentum after a long hibernation.
Record prices have been set in four of its leafy suburbs – Warawee, Gordon, Killara and Pymble – over the past 10 months.
Bremon, perhaps the most prestigious of upper north shore residences, topped the records, selling for $11.5 million.
It has been bought by a mining entrepreneur from the Northern Territory, Jerry Ren, who pegged his claim as the district’s record-setter when the purchase of the imposing Warrawee property settled last week.
Mr Ren is a key shareholder of the Roper River prospector Sherwin Iron. The businessman, who was born in China’s Liaoning province and Anglicised his first name from Xiaofeng, is also a director at Australia Ilmenite Resources.
The 300 square-metre house on 6400 square metres of land was designed in the 1980s for the oil magnate Pat Burke.
Its architectural inspiration was Elizabeth Bay House, particularaly the 21-metre-high oval foyer which echoes of style of John Verge who designed the landmark Elizabeth Bay residence for the colonial secretary, Alexander Macleay, in the 1830s.
The Chilton Parade house, hidden by established European trees, includes nine bedrooms, all with ensuites and walk-in wardrobes.
The sale settled after a marketing camplain by LJ Hooker estate agent David Johnson for the vendorrs, the kit home manufacturers Victor and Maree Virgona.
Bremon made news in the late 1980s after Buke stumbled in the economic downturn.
At that time, the house had been completed to roofless lock-up stage at a cost of $5.1 million and squatters had moved in.
The home, built over three land titles, became the subject of legal proceedings as the liquidator of Burke’s failed Hartogen Group sought an agreement to sell from the two companies that held mortgages on some of the land.
Several owners failed to finish its construction until the entrepreneur Simon Tripp and his wife Brenda did so after paying $3 million in 1999, for the mansion known then as Pantugeul.
The Tripps changed its name and spent about two years completing it. The family sold to the Virgonas for $10.1 million in 2005.
Bremon was listed with $15 million-plus price expectations in early 2010.
Between Bremon’s sales in 2005 and 2010, the highest price elsewhere on the upper north shore was $7.8 million, paid last November for a 1930s Killara house.
Wharncliffe, on Springdale Road, was sold to Hong Lu and Jia Yn by the property industry identity Cameron Smart.
The sandstone residence on the 7528 sq m Annie Wilkes-landscapes estate previously traded at a Killara record of $3 million in 1997.
It first sold in 1937 for £1030. The solicitor Carnegie Fieldhouse and his wife Dorothy paid $255,000 in 1971.
Wharncliffe traded for $2.6 million in 1986 when the developer Paul Petersen bought it.
At Pymble, the former head of Merrill Lynch Asia Pacific, Greg Bundy, and his wife Nicola sold their vast estate, with a six-bedroom Georgian-style house, tennis court, pavilion and pool, for $7.25 million last March.
Aberdour, the 1901 Federation residence on 3300 square metres at Gordon, was sold late last year by Mark Worrall of Keybridge Capital and his wife, Jacqueline, for about $6 million, bettering the suburb’s previous record of $5 million