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Former CBA branch in Seaforth sold amidst intense online bidding

CBA Hero

Last week, Colliers Director Tom Appleby and National Director Harry Bui sold the former CBA branch 539-541 Sydney Road via an online auction. There were 11 registered bidders, a mix of owner occupiers, investors and developers battled it out. The bidding commenced at $4,200,000, and after an incredible 63 bids, the property was eventually sold under the hammer for $7,645,000. It is understood the purchaser intends to covert the bank into a large format retailer.

The property has a total NLA 393 sqm and consists of three retail tenancies on a 674 sqm parcel of land. The land B2 zoning allows for future a ‘Shop-Top Housing’ development (subject to Council approval).

Trophy retail investments have long been tightly held and highly coveted by investors. With the recent shifts in consumer behaviour including the faster than expected shift to digital, Colliers has observed widespread reductions in banks’ floorspace requirements. They’re no longer the ‘safe’ bet they once were,” said Tom Appleby.

“That said, with the record lower-for-longer interest rate environment, and generally favourable underlying planning controls, occupiers and developers now seemingly have an insatiable appetite for these type of opportunities,” Appleby added.


Harry Bui, National Director of Colliers, said the auction campaign generated over 200 enquiries across Australia highlighting the strength of demand from private investors for commercial property in Sydney metro markets with at least 10 underbidders have circa $60,000,000 worth of capital ready to deploy on premium investment properties. 


The sale follows a recent string of bank sales on the North Shore, including the St George Bank branch on Walker Street in North Sydney, the Westpac on The Corso in Manly, the ANZ branch in Mona Vale, CBA branches in Dee Why and Collaroy, Westpac branches in Avalon and Narrabeen, among others. Last month the NAB in Mosman was listed for sale but the auction has since been postponed. In total, the big four banks have closed, or plan to close, 350 branches around Australia between January 2020 and December 2021.


Property prices in Seaforth and surrounding suburbs have benefitted majorly from the Beaches Link tunnel approval that is set to be operational by 2028. A recent price report identified Seaforth as recording the steepest median property price spike of all NSW suburbs over the past year, soaring 39.3 per cent.


Colliers also recently sold 291-293 Condamine Street Manly Vale for $2,700,000 and 7 Hayes Street Balgowlah for $2,030,000. Further to this 202 & 204 Condamine Street Manly Vale also recently sold for $7,500,000

Related Experts

Tom Appleby

Director, Sydney Metro Sales | Investment Services

Sydney North

Initially joining Colliers in 2015 to work alongside National Director Jon Chomley as a Capital Markets analyst, Tom grew organically through the Colliers system, gradually applying his analytical skills, and gravitating towards, a sales role within the Investment Services team. Working closely with National Director Henry Burke, Tom established himself as a market leading commercial sales agent on the North Shore of Sydney. In 2020, Tom began leading the Sydney North Investment Services team.

Specialising in selling commercial / retail property (freehold and strata) and development sites (raw and DA approved) in the metro markets on the Lower and Upper North Shore, including the Northern Beaches, Tom has built a reputation for being a driven, personable, meticulous operator who is clearly passionate about real estate. Tom’s ongoing enthusiasm for the property industry mixed with his excellent communication skills and his honest approach to business has seen him regularly achieve results above client expectations.

Having grown up on Sydney’s North Shore, Tom possesses an intricate understanding of what’s happening in and around the Lower North Shore of Sydney, regularly attending local council meetings to stay on top of Council Governance.

Over the course of Tom’s 8 years’ in the property industry, Tom has developed a strong interest in site consolidations i.e. strata amalgamations and collective freehold sales.

Internally, Tom is actively involved in Colliers’ key initiatives, including Middle Markets, Portfolio Auctions, Restructuring Property Services (RPS), and Asian Investment Showcases, and forms an integral part of Colliers’ National Strata Practice Group and Colliers’ National Premium Investments Practice Group.

Tom sits on the Property Council of Australia’s (PCA) Future Directions Committee.

As at November 2021, Tom has been involved in over $450,000,000 worth of property sales.

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Harry Bui

National Director, Sydney Metro Sales | Investment Services


I am one of the most respected real estate professionals with significant experience in both domestic and international commercial real estate transactions with expertise in Governments, Corporations, Private Clients, Public REIT and Institutional real estate sales & marketing.

I have a wide well-established referral network for connecting and accessing to both onshore and offshore capital, particularly from the Asian countries including China, Singapore and other South East Asia countries for commercial properties in Sydney, Australia.

I am a driving force for the national premium investment auctions at Colliers International as my national team is dedicated to achieving premium prices for vendors and the 'biggest bang for their buck' through our special premium auction strategies.

I am also responsible for outstanding team contribution, excellence in leading successful teams, strong presentation & communications and effective interaction with other business line leaders within the Colliers International Global network.

I am capable of working successfully under pressure with multi tasks in a fast paced environment and highly self-motivated with a hands-on attention to details that only personal experience can bring.


- Commercial real estate investment brokerage;
- Development site sales;
- Deal-sourcing;
- Acquisition and development;
- Investment underwriting;
- Market analysis;
- Structured transactions;
- Complicated partnership dispute disposal (section 66G);
- Government, corporation and Insolvency solutions;
- Due diligence and
- Leasing. 

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