The Etham Estate’s subdivision, c1901. Subject property is labelled “30”.
Etham Avenue is one of the last bastions of single family villas in the now apartment-dominated suburb of Darling Point. It wasn’t always this way. The Etham Estate, an elegant Victorian Italianate mansion resting on over 40 harbourfront acres, was subdivided in 1900. The infill development of the parcels spanned several decades and were significantly smaller than its neighbouring mansions, including ‘Winslow’, ‘Swifts’, ‘Ascham’, ‘Prudhoe’, ‘Carthona’, and ‘Lindsay’. Thus it comes as a slight surprise that listing agent for 3 Etham Avenue Sally Hampshire claims that “this freestanding residence was originally one of the grand Edwardian mansions gracing sought after Darling Point” when in fact it was more Darling Point starter home than imposing Edwardian mansion. Nonetheless, the rarity of single family homes in Darling Point today provides the home with more significance now than it ever had before.
Etham Mansion, c1880s, pre-subdivision (above); 3 Etham Avenue highlighted in red in a 1943 aerial showcases the diminutive nature of the property amongst its mansion neigbhours (below).
Until World War II, the suburb was undeniably Sydney’s most desirable location to own an estate home. As the suburb increased its density in the mid-century, many of Darling Point’s ageing residents simply relocated into the apartment blocks that replaced the single family landscape, leaving wealthy, younger families to move further East into Bellevue Hill and Vaucluse, thus leading to Darling Point’s contemporary reputation for having a sizeable geriatric community.
But all of this is a digression away from the featured listing: 3 Etham Avenue. The 4-bedroom Edwardian home sits on a large corner block on the leafy and picturesque road. It was purchased for $5mil in April 2008 (after selling for $4.225m in July 2007). Within a year, the owners submitted a development application to the Woollahra Council outlining a $200k renovation that included “alterations and additions to existing dwelling house including new carport and swimming pool and replacement of existing timber fence with brick fence” by Vienna Design. That price seems small for the renovations and was likely an understatement for tax purposes. However, if it was indeed a simple $200k renovation, then today’s pricing expectations of $8m+ seems quite high. Then again, the pricing is coming on the heels of the November 2009 sale of neighbour 2 Etham Avenue which sold in a post-renovated state for $7.8m; that home, mind you, is quite a bit smaller than today’s featured property. So maybe $8mil isn’t such a far cry after all. It should be noted that the Radical Terrace totally digs the hardwood flooring in 3 Etham Avenue.
Click below for more photos and listing information.
The listing: 3 Etham Avenue, Darling Point