The brakes might have been applied to some areas of Australia’s residential property market, but that hasn’t stopped business bigwigs and cashed-up foreign buyers from splashing their money on some of the country’s most prestigious homes.
In spite of the stagnating growth nationwide–largely led by a cooling Sydney housing market—several stellar sales have taken place around the country, notably in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
Even a few regional and vacation areas recorded their own standout sales too, setting new benchmarks and proving that landmark property will find a buyer in any market.
Here are some of Australia’s prestige highlights of 2017.
Australian workplace software company Atlassian made headlines this year when it surpassed the $10 billion valuation mark, cementing itself as a global household name.
Co-founder Scott Farquhar and his wife, banker Kim Jackson, made news of their own in May when they spent A$71 million (US$55 million) on the 1920s Point Piper estate Elaine.
The seven-bedroom, five-bathroom ancestral home of the Fairfax family, sold by real estate agent Ken Jacobs of Christie’s International, is on 7,000 square meters of amalgamated land above Seven Shillings Beach in Point Piper on Sydney Harbour.
Ken Jacobs, Christie’s International
Eclipsing the A$70 million (US$54 million) 2016 sale of casino owner James Packer’s non-waterfront property, La Mer, Mr. Farquhar and Ms. Jackson plan to refurbish the estate for their family.
The Fairfax family turned down previous offers from developers whose intention was to subdivide the Victorian mansion, including its stables, a tennis court and a ballroom, into apartments.
It is the fifth home in Sydney’s sought-after Eastern Suburbs to have sold for more than A$60 million (US$46 million) or more in the past two years.
A rumored five Melbourne homes have traded hands—some brokered without the assistance of real estate agents—for more than A$20 million (US15.4 million) in 2017.
The loudest rumblings coming out of the rumor mill have been over the grand 1920s home, Mowbray, on St. Georges Road in Toorak.
Sold by former Mirvac director Marina Darling and husband Anthony Darling off market, the deal is worth close to A$40 million (US$31 million), industry sources have reported.
The historic home, offering five bedrooms across two levels on 5,000 square meters of land, includes a pool, tennis court and a self-contained guest wing.
Melbourne’s previous record price was A$26.25 million (US$20.2 million), set in 2016, when Netflow managing director Phil Dreaver bought a contemporary Towers Road, Toorak, mansion sold by the Besen family.
It took A$18.48 million (US$14.2 million) to secure an iconic three-level home on Leopard Street atop Brisbane’s Kangaroo Point cliffs, setting a long-awaited new record for the Queensland capital.
Ray White New Farm
Brisbane’s previous record house sale of A$14 million (US$10.8 million) was held by Australia’s richest person, mining magnate, Gina Rinehart, when she bought a riverfront home in Hawthorne in late 2014. She subsequently bought the adjacent block for A$4 million (US$3.08 million).
The city’s new record holder sits well above the Brisbane River, occupying 71 meters of cliff-top land with 1,500 square meters of internal space.
The house, estimated to have a replacement-build cost of A$9.5 million (US$7.3 million), sits on an 1,186-square-meter block, purchased for A$6.3 million (US$4.9 million).
Four years old, and completed in 2012, no expense has been spared inside or out to make the most of its 180-degree city views.
From the commercial-grade wine cellar, which cut into the granite, and the windows cut into the side of the suspended swimming pool, the house is impressive.
Each of the five bedrooms has a view along with its own ensuite and walk-in closet, there’s a teppanyaki bar, a pizza oven, Greek imported Saint Lorraine marble flooring and a temperature-controlled wine cellar finished in white birch and leather.
A home of international standards, according to listing agent Mat Lancashire of Ray White New Farm, its clever design mirrors a personal five-star resort.
While Tasmania’s record-breaking year where more million-dollar homes sold than ever before didn’t produce a new benchmark price, its top result was an impressive A$6.5 million (US$5 million) sale for the 1917 five-bedroom, four-bathroom manor Sentosa, on Sandy Bay Road in Sandy Bay.
Built over 2,300 square meters of park-like gardens fronting the Derwent River, it fell short of the state’s highest residential sale of A$8.5 million (US$6.5 million) set in 2012 for Waimea House, also in Sandy Bay.
Australia’s east coast markets also proved popular as cashed-up second home buyers looked outside of the major capital cities to make purchases.
Among the best performers was Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, where the 1909 landmark clifftop home Nee Morna sold for about A$18 million (US$21.6 million) through agents CBRE for only the second time in 100 years, while an international buyer paid about A$18 million (US$14 million) for the seven-bedroom Mirama on Mornington-Flinders Road in Flinders through Peninsula Sotheby’s International Realty.
On the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Noosa was the regional standout with two A$10 million-plus record sales for waterfront properties in the second half of 2017.
But 2018 could herald event loftier benchmarks with sumptuous listings such as tennis star Pat Rafter’s Mediterranean-inspired home at Seaview Terrace at Sunshine Beach listed with an asking price of more than A$18million (US$13.9 million), while three hours south on the Gold Coast, a waterfront mega mansion on King Arthur Drive, Sovereign Islands, has been listed for more than A$30 million (US$23.1 million).
Known as Chateau De Reves, the owner, German superyacht builder Klaus Lilischkies and his wife Leigh Lilischkies installed a bullet-proof master bedroom, 24-carat gold in the pool tiles, two kitchens, seven-bedrooms and a nine-square-meter wardrobe for shoes alone.
Selling agent Sotheby’s Queensland CEO Paul Arthur said the replacement cost of the 16-year-old home was estimated to be more than A$30 million (US$23 million).
The Gold Coast’s current record price is A$27 million (US$20.7 million), set in 2008 for an unfinished house on Hedges Avenue in Mermaid Beach.
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