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Sovereign Island trophy mega-mansion for mortgagee sale

Sovereign Island trophy mega-mansion for mortgagee sale
Sovereign Island trophy mega-mansion for mortgagee sale

The Sovereign Islands' biggest and most notorious mega-mansion has been repossessed by the ANZ Bank, after a chequered history and nearly a decade of stop-start construction.

The unfinished European-style home across four blocks of land on Knightsbridge Parade East is one of the Gold Coast’s longest-running property sagas; when construction began in 2007 the finished product was estimated to be worth up to $40 million.

Instead it’s now being cleaned and ‘made safe’ for a mortgagee sale after the ANZ evicted its owner, Clare Marks and her husband, Scott Tyne shortly after Christmas 2012.

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ANZ gained possession of the Sovereign Islands property after taking court action in Singapore and Australia.

ANZ's Singapore operation agreed to provide Telesto Investments, a company based at Jersey in the Channel Islands, with a multi-currency revolving credit facility of up to $15 million.

The couple had been quietly living in the unfinished home with their children for the past three years, after falling on hard times post-GFC.

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Given a host of recent low sales on the Sovereign Islands, it’s thought the ANZ is unlikely to recoup its debt on the property, believed to be about $12.6 million.

In its current unfinished state and in significant disrepair, the home could fetch as little as $6 million to $8 million - and even then, a qualified buyer willing to take on such a project will be hard to find.

The ANZ had considered spending an undisclosed amount to complete the home, in an effort to sell the finished product for the highest price possible.

However, early estimates put the minimal cost of completion at around $6 million - nothing short of a brave investment in the still-depressed Gold Coast property market.

The palatial 3,500 square metre home is constructed of solid concrete and block work, with authentic Italian hand-made roof tiles, copper doors and double-glazed timber windows - which critics say are too small to even enjoy the extensive water views.

One wing of the home is partly completed, including the kitchen, dining room, two smaller bedrooms and one bathroom. However, the main bedroom, lounge room, media, gym, office and other areas – which total about 70% of the home – are not fitted out at all and many walls show just bare block work and exposed wiring.

A waterfront pool has been poured but never completed, and the mortgagees have just mowed the grass for the first time in years after complaints of vermin in the overgrowth.

The four blocks were purchased in Clare Marks’ name in 2005 for $9.44 million. Recent low sales along Knightsbridge Parade would conservatively place the unimproved land value significantly lower, somewhere between $4 million and $5 million.

It's believed Mr Tyne and Ms Marks have spent at least $12 million on construction so far, but the property is riddled with imperfections and damage as a result of its long construction schedule. The record for a house on the islands is $11 million, paid in September 2006 for Baltimore, the seven-bedroom Royal Albert Crescent home.

It is to be auctioned on July 20 through David Vertullo and Chris Moyer of The Professionals Vertullo Real Estate.

Ms Marks is an accountant who heads Accomplish Accountancy.

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