The historic estate of an Australian publishing family has sold for more than A$70 million (US$52.7 million)—setting a new sales record for a house in the country.
The Fairfax family, founders and former owners of one of the largest media companies in Australia—including The Sydney Morning Herald, Domain Group and The Canberra Times—owned the Victorian mansion in the waterfront suburb of Point Piper for 126 years before the sale, which brokerage Christie’s International Real Estate announced Monday.
Scott Farquhar, the 37-year-old co-founder of tech giant Atlassian, and his wife, Kim Jackson, agreed to pay more than $70 million for the home, dubbed “Elaine,” built in 1863.
“There is a certain nostalgia in knowing that multiple generations of an iconic Australian family have grown up on these lawns and we very much look forward to raising our family here,” Mr. Farquhar said in a statement via Christie’s.
Mr. Farquhar founded Atlassian with college pal Mike Cannon-Brookes in 2002, and the two now have a combined wealth of $4.6 billion, according to the annual BRW Young Rich List.
The home is 5 kilometers from Sydney’s city center and sits on about 1.7 acres of waterfront land. In keeping with the era in which it was built, the home has a grand ballroom and numerous balconies overlooking Sydney Harbour, according to the listing with one of Christie’s top agents, Ken Jacobs.
The three-story main house overlooks a sloping lawn that leads down to Seven Shillings Beach, a grass tennis court and five very old, heritage-listed trees.
The sale beat out the last record holder, a six-story mansion in the Sydney suburb of Vaucluse, which Mr. Jacobs also brokered for just about $70 million, according to Christie’s.
Mr. Jacobs was marketing the home, which has been on and off the market since February 2014 and was first handled by a different broker, as a possible luxury redevelopment opportunity, with municipal approval for four residences. But the final sale of the whole estate to a single household came as a relief to seller John B. Fairfax, the fourth generation to own the property.
“This is an emotional day. I have sold a home that has been in the Fairfax family since 1891. I am delighted it has been purchased in one line to an Australian family,” Mr. Fairfax said in a statement.
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