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The global financial crisis has battered Sydney's luxury housing market with job losses, shrinking super funds and slumping property values leaving the wealthy struggling to recover.

According to the quarterly Dyson Austen Top 10 Prestige Residential Survey, the prestige property market suffered a 45% drop in gross sales - the equivalent of $198 million worth of property dropping to $110 million.

In a reflection of the global market at the time, the top five sales from the last financial year took place in the 3rd quarter of 2008, with the lowest five sales occurring in the 1st and 2nd quarter of 2009.

"Although not quite as bad, the result takes Sydney back to the June quarter of 2006 when sales bottomed at $88 million,'' said Simon Feilich, a director of valuation firm Dyson Austen

"Of the top 40 sales for the year, the top five all occurred in the third quarter of 2008, and as the world global crisis got worse so did the sector,'' he said

The highest sale in the city in the last quarter was for a house on Wentworth Road in Vaucluse for $18 million, compared with $45 million sale on Coolong Road in the upmarket sububrb in the same period last year.

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