Meet the heritage home with the lot - including a pool room
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Meet the heritage home with the lot – including a pool room

At a time when tradies are thin on the ground, this 19th century villa is move-in ready

Thu, Jul 6, 2023 8:00amGrey Clock 2 min

Sydney’s inner west is generally characterised by workers’ cottages and terrace houses with postage stamp-sized courtyards barely large enough to take a swing on the Hills Hoist.

While there are still some substantial homes in Burwood, where this six-bedroom Victorian Italianate mansion is located, they have become increasingly rare as the developer’s wrecking ball threatens larger heritage homes that have seen better days.

Which makes this property at 24 Ethel Street even more special. Built c1888, this home in Sydney’s second smallest LGA is set over two levels, with multiple living areas and multipurpose bedrooms that can be used for hosting guests or as individual home office spaces. Entry is via a spacious portico and wraparound veranda with tessellated tiled floors in keeping with the age and style of the home. Stepping through threshold with stained glass front door and Marseille parquetry floors, there are enclosed living areas on either side of the hallway, including a pool room fitted out like a gentlemen’s club, complete with Timothy Oulton furnishings. At the rear, a Degabriele entertainer’s kitchen features Calcatta Vagli marble and Miele appliances.

Marble has also been carried through to the fireplace surrounds while contemporary chandeliers create a sense of drama to the open plan kitchen and living area.

There is also a basement area providing parking and storage. As is appropriate to a house this size, the 1098sqm property is set into spacious, well-maintained formal gardens with additional room for parking at the rear.

Perhaps the best thing about this home at a time when finding tradespeople is a struggle is that it is move-in ready. Period details such as ornate, coffered ceilings internally and iron lacework externally have been maintained and restored while modern conveniences including zoned heating and cooling, heated flooring and CCTV have been included.

With room for everyone, it’s a period home designed for modern zoning, creating spaces for multiple generations to come together and spend time apart.

With primary and high schools located within easy walking distance and the hustle and bustle of Burwood’s lively restaurant and entertainment scene just around the corner, this home is perfect for 21st century living.

Last sold in 2014 for $1.9m, it has a price guide of $8m.


Address: 24 Ethel Street, Burwood 

Price guide: $8 million

Next open for inspection: Saturday July 8, 2.30pm-3pm

Agent: Michael Murphy, principal McGrath Strathfield 0486 123 888  


Consumers are going to gravitate toward applications powered by the buzzy new technology, analyst Michael Wolf predicts

Chris Dixon, a partner who led the charge, says he has a ‘very long-term horizon’

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Why Prices of the World’s Most Expensive Handbags Keep Rising

Designers are charging more for their most recognisable bags to maintain the appearance of exclusivity as the industry balloons

Tue, Mar 5, 2024 3 min

The price of a basic Hermès Birkin handbag has jumped $1,000. This first-world problem for fashionistas is a sign that luxury brands are playing harder to get with their most sought-after products.

Hermès recently raised the cost of a basic Birkin 25-centimeter handbag in its U.S. stores by 10% to $11,400 before sales tax, according to data from luxury handbag forum PurseBop. Rarer Birkins made with exotic skins such as crocodile have jumped more than 20%. The Paris brand says it only increases prices to offset higher manufacturing costs, but this year’s increase is its largest in at least a decade.

The brand may feel under pressure to defend its reputation as the maker of the world’s most expensive handbags. The “Birkin premium”—the price difference between the Hermès bag and its closest competitor , the Chanel Classic Flap in medium—shrank from 70% in 2019 to 2% last year, according to PurseBop founder Monika Arora. Privately owned Chanel has jacked up the price of its most popular handbag by 75% since before the pandemic.

Eye-watering price increases on luxury brands’ benchmark products are a wider trend. Prada ’s Galleria bag will set shoppers back a cool $4,600—85% more than in 2019, according to the Wayback Machine internet archive. Christian Dior ’s Lady Dior bag and the Louis Vuitton Neverfull are both 45% more expensive, PurseBop data show.

With the U.S. consumer-price index up a fifth since 2019, luxury brands do need to offset higher wage and materials costs. But the inflation-beating increases are also a way to manage the challenge presented by their own success: how to maintain an aura of exclusivity at the same time as strong sales.

Luxury brands have grown enormously in recent years, helped by the Covid-19 lockdowns, when consumers had fewer outlets for spending. LVMH ’s fashion and leather goods division alone has almost doubled in size since 2019, with €42.2 billion in sales last year, equivalent to $45.8 billion at current exchange rates. Gucci, Chanel and Hermès all make more than $10 billion in sales a year. One way to avoid overexposure is to sell fewer items at much higher prices.

Many aspirational shoppers can no longer afford the handbags, but luxury brands can’t risk alienating them altogether. This may explain why labels such as Hermès and Prada have launched makeup lines and Gucci’s owner Kering is pushing deeper into eyewear. These cheaper categories can be a kind of consolation prize. They can also be sold in the tens of millions without saturating the market.

“Cosmetics are invisible—unless you catch someone applying lipstick and see the logo, you can’t tell the brand,” says Luca Solca, luxury analyst at Bernstein.

Most of the luxury industry’s growth in 2024 will come from price increases. Sales are expected to rise by 7% this year, according to Bernstein estimates, even as brands only sell 1% to 2% more stuff.

Limiting volume growth this way only works if a brand is so popular that shoppers won’t balk at climbing prices and defect to another label. Some companies may have pushed prices beyond what consumers think they are worth. Sales of Prada’s handbags rose a meagre 1% in its last quarter and the group’s cheaper sister label Miu Miu is growing faster.

Ramping up prices can invite unflattering comparisons. At more than $2,000, Burberry ’s small Lola bag is around 40% more expensive today than it was a few years ago. Luxury shoppers may decide that tried and tested styles such as Louis Vuitton’s Neverfull bag, which is now a little cheaper than the Burberry bag, are a better buy—especially as Louis Vuitton bags hold their value better in the resale market.

Aggressive price increases can also drive shoppers to secondhand websites. If a barely used Prada Galleria bag in excellent condition can be picked up for $1,500 on luxury resale website The Real Real, it is less appealing to pay three times that amount for the bag brand new.

The strategy won’t help everyone, but for the best luxury brands, stretching the price spectrum can keep the risks of growth in check.


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