Did a Hollywood star buy $22M Byron Bay home?

A HOUSE with spectacular views of Wategos Beach has reportedly sold for a $22 million – a residential record for house sales in Byron Bay.

This home at Wategos beach has reportedly sold for a record-breaking $22 million.

The property, called an “entertainers’ utopia”, at 35 Marine Parade at Wategos was sold by recruitment industry boss Geoff Morgan and his wife, Ros.

Boasting spectacular views, the home in the exclusive beach enclave was reportedly on the market for less than a week before it sold, with speculation over whether the new owner may have Hollywood connections.

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Selling agent Michael Coombs, of Sydney’s lower north shore-based agency LJ Hooker Avnu, told Realestate.com.au: “We did have a few A-list celebrities inquire about it, and some sports stars”.

Alas, the identity of the new owners was not revealed.

The Financial Review said the property “attracted a rush of buyer interest and multiple offers despite carrying a bullish $20 million to $22 million guide”.



The listing for the house said it was “best suited” for “buyers seeking an incomparable property with iconic panoramas set in a highly desirable coastal locality who love to entertain with style and confidence”.

Last year, a property down the street, at 11 Marine Parade, sold for more than $18 million.

But in January, Whalewatchers, at 41 Marine Parade, sold for $12 million, down on it’s advertised price in 2018 of $18 million.

Nautica, a couple of doors up, at 37 Marine Parade, was listed for $12 million in 2014.

Boutique hotel, Raes on Wategos, sold for more than $21 million in 2012.

The sale was assisted by local agents Glen Irwin, of LJ Hooker Byron Bay and Helene Adams and Vanessa Cole, of First National Real Estate Byron Bay.

Realestate.com.au lists the median house price in Byron Bay at $1,543,000, but time will tell if this latest sale is an indicator that prices are on the rise.

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Square Peg sharpens Singapore focus with $22m StashAway investment

“From day one we’ve been trying to validate a thesis that it’s an interesting market with great growth potential and we can access great investments there and we can convince great founders to get us to invest in them,” he said. “That’s what we felt it has been very much proven out in the last few years. A material portion of our capital is already deployed in South East Asia and we expect material returns to start to flow from that region as well.”

Mr Roy said a focus on the region was a core part of Square Peg’s strategy with its fourth $350 million fund announced in June set to target emerging companies in Australia, Israel and South East Asia.

He said the investment in StashAway fitted into his “three Ts” investment philosophy of team, thematic and timing.

Mr Roy said StashAway had a great team led by founders Michele Ferrario, Freddy Lim, and Nino Ulsamer and in terms of thematic the company capitalised on a global shift in investing from actively managed money to passive investment.

“There aren’t that many great options in the region for people to invest in diversified portfolios of assets, across equities and gold and bonds and that’s what StashAway offers you basically it’s your one stop shop,” he said.

Mr Roy said customers loved StashAway’s product and even during the recent hit to the sharemarket customers kept on depositing money.

“Some people pulled money out but actually the net deposits continued to grow even through coronavirus, which is extremely unusual,” he said. “It just demonstrated that people fundamentally just trusted StashAway with with their money even at a time like this.”

StashAway founders from left to right: Nino Ulsamer, Michele Ferrario and Freddy Lim.

Mr Roy said the Covid-19 pandemic had increased the opportunity for Square Peg in South East Asia.

“The thing with venture is you invest in things today, and you expect them to pay off in 10 years time,” he said. “So you’ve got to take an extremely long term view of cycles.”

Mr Roy said the immediate impacts of Covid-19 were restricting the mobility of people and had directly impacted certain businesses making them less attractive however other businesses were thriving.

“Ecommerce has boomed all over the world but it’s boomed especially in South East Asia where it is a much faster growing part of the economy than in other parts of the world,” he said. “We think that thematically the region will present some really amazing and interesting opportunities in the next five years so we are actually more bullish on being on the ground to try and capture that.”

Investors in the series C funding round in StashAway also included Burda Principal Investments and Eight Roads Ventures.

Michele Ferrario, co-founder and chief executive of StashAway, said the new funding strengthened the startup’s balance sheet and brought its paid up capital to SGD $50.7 million.

“This latest round will enable us to accelerate product development to both broaden and deepen our wealth management offering for our clients in Singapore and Malaysia, as well as support new market entry,” he said.

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