By Vanessa Cavasinni, editor Australian Hotelier

Both the Belmore Hotel in Maitland and the Patonga Beach Hotel on the Central Coast have sold in the last few days.

The sale of the Belmore Hotel was announced on Wednesday, with the Murphy family divesting the Maitland pub to focus on other investments. The sale for $9 million to a local businessman was handled by Blake Edwards, Andrew Jolliffe and Xavier Plunkett of Ray White Hotels.

An auction was held for the pub at the end of May, but was passed in with the highest bid also reaching $9 million. But after 14 years in hospitality and with the desire to move on with other concerns, the Murphy family were happy to negotiate the sale with a well-regarded businessman in the local area.

“We’ve owned the hotel since 2003, and since then we have all grown older and want to do a bit more of our own thing” said Luke Murphy.

“We still have development interests in the area, which we will now shift our focus onto. It was not an easy decision to sell as we have made many community ties and friendships out of the pub and the Maitland community has been a big supporter of ours. On behalf of my family I would like to wish the incoming purchaser all the best.”

Coastal asset

The market demand for pubs up and down New South Wales’ coastline continues unabated. Following the recent sales of Collaroy Hotel to Merivale and Arthur Laundy’s Bateau Bay Hotel, the Patonga Beach Hotel is the latest waterfront pub to exchange hands.

Manenti Quinlan and Associates – with Ray White Hotels as co-agents –  negotiated the sale of the coastal pub to an as yet undisclosed buyer, who is believed to be an experienced operator with a vision to reinvent the venue. The sale amount is also not being made public at this stage. Patonga Beach Hotel was last sold in 2014 for roughly $8 million.

“The picturesque nature of the property holding was certainly a strong draw card for astute hospitality investors, and the ability to own such dominant market share in a highly frequented waterside location meant the cream of the industry assessed the opportunity,” said Jolliffe.

“Freehold properties of this magnitude, and proximity to the ocean are seldom traded, and the likelihood of a replicable hospitality offering being approved is particularly low.”

With many such notable sales under his belt, Jolliffe has also been named Ray White Group’s number one sale agent internationally for the second year in a row.

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