Private schools buy $100 million property

Despite this, Ascham made a wave of acquisitions. In the six months to March, records show the school paid $18.24 million to buy five of six apartments in the adjoining art deco block, leaving one apartment outstanding.

Of a row of three outlets that face the school to New South Head Road, one was bought in 2019 and another last year for $5.25million, leaving the third between the hands of the Ho family from Hong Kong.

Ascham now owns two of the three outlets which overlook New South Head Road, with the Ho family maintaining the one next to the school’s main entrance gate since 1989.Credit:Janie Barrett

“When you list a house near a school, the first buyer you take it to is the school,” said PPD’s Alexander Phillips, who last year sold a Victorian Italian mansion called Villa Palmyra for $5.25 million at St Catherine’s in Waverley.

A spokeswoman for St Catherine’s said they were still considering what to do with the large residence built in 1888, but bought it because land is limited and nearby buildings are useful for non-educational purposes such as administration and uniform stores.

Phillips said the market value paid by St Catherine for Villa Palmyra, but schools often end up paying more.

Lewisham’s recent sale of a 650 square meter detached house for $4.2 million shocked local property watchers, until the settlement revealed the buyer was the trustees of the Christian Brethren of Edmund Rice Education Australia.

Ascham bought five of six apartments in an art deco building (left), SCEGGS Darlinghust bought a corner terrace and St Catherine bought Villa Palmyra (right).

Ascham bought five of six apartments in an art deco building (left), SCEGGS Darlinghust bought a corner terrace and St Catherine bought Villa Palmyra (right).Credit:

“Nothing has sold for more than $4 million in Lewisham outside of the grand Victorian houses on The Boulevarde,” said Shad Hassan, director of The Agency Inner West.

“People who own next to these kinds of schools usually know what they have and hang around for these kinds of deals.”

A pink corner patio in Darlinghurst was recently purchased by one of the most expensive schools in the state, SCEGGS Darlinghurst, for $2.925 million to be used as a wellness center and to house school counsellors.

Principal of the school, Jenny Allum, announced the purchase in the June report card: “As a property with an entrance and driveway in St Peters Street, we have long considered this property to be one of the more strategic around us.”


In Mosman, Queenwood paid $8.4 million to buy a period home next to its Balmoral Beach land, and Mosman Preparatory bought a Federation house for $4.4 million, funded in part by the sale of a two-door house for $3.21 million.

Barker College, a coeducational Anglican school on 15 acres on the Upper North Shore, has purchased two retail spaces next door for $3.63 million and $2.5 million.

“There are currently no plans to use the recently acquired properties for teaching,” said Barker College principal Phillip Heath, although one is considered staff space.

Newington College’s Stanmore campus spans 10 acres in the Midwest, a footprint that has grown steadily since the mid-1990s, when the school began hoarding 15 of the 19 houses there. backed onto Middleton Street, the most recent of which was a dilapidated bungalow in April for $2.175 million.

But it’s not just Sydney’s most expensive schools looking to expand. Al Sadiq Muslim Coeducational School, where tuition starts at $2,400, recently bought a three-bedroom house for $1.25 million adjoining its Greenacre campus.


And the Bankstown campus of Al Amanah Islamic College has purchased five of its neighboring properties over the past decade, the most recent of which was a block of land for $1.5 million.

Hopes are already high that Al Amanah will add a sixth to its plot on August 20 when a four-bedroom house next door goes up for auction with a $1.1million guide, given that Luke McFadden of Pace Property said the school has already signaled interest.

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