Altona versus Boomerang - battle of the Sydney trophy homes

Altona versus Boomerang - battle of the Sydney trophy homes
Altona versus Boomerang - battle of the Sydney trophy homes

Two iconic Sydney trophy homes have been listed for sale that now go head to head in a battle for upmarket buyers.

Altona, the oft-called eight bedroom home of conspicuous consumption in Point Piper, has hit the market, along with the seven bedroom Elizabeth Bay harbourside home, Boomerang.

Both were prior record setting homes, but not this time around as James Packer's $70 million contemporary Vaucluse sale, after some serious site amalgamations, seems unbreakable for the time being.

The low-key Wang family have listed Altona, their prized Point Piper harbourfront home last sold at $52 million in 2013 on 2400 sq m.

But it won't be setting any price records given its listing follows the sale earlier this week of their adjacent 1000 sqm garden block, reputedly for around $18 million to Chinese buyers.

The iconic Victorian Italianate home was last sold by Deke Miskin, a former teenage magazine publishing industry entreprenuer, and his wife Eve who hosted many social events.

Its been a little quiet since being sold to the Melbourne-linked Chinese property developer Wang Zhijun.

The recently sold garden block had been added to Australia’s most famous trophy home by publisher Matt Handbury and his then wife, former model Fiona in the mid 1990s. 

The Handburys sold their merged 2400 sqm holding - envisaged as a tennis court - to publisher Deke Miskin and his wife, another former model Eve in 2002 for $28 million.

Rosaline Ho of Goldfield & Co has been appointed to sell the home, with Alison Coopes. The Lowy family and actor Russell Crowe rank among a who's who having previously toyed with buying Altona.

Property observers suggest it might sell at $45 million plus this time given the reduced land size.

Boomerang, which doesn't come with Harbour Bridge and Opera House views, quietly hit the market earlier this month with ambitious $60 million hopes through Ray White Double Bay.

Sydney's finest Spanish mission-style trophy home, is being off-loaded by Lindsay Fox, the Melbourne-based billionaire trucking magnate who has hosted many charity fund raisers in the 4100 sqm grounds.

The Elizabeth Bay landmark harbourfront home was bought for $20 million in 2005.

The Hollywood-style mansion has often been ranked as the most expensive house in the country as it was the first property to crack the $20 million level.

It was also the first Sydney home to fetch more than $1 million when sold by the original owners in the 1970s.

It was built at a cost of 60,000 pounds for music book publisher (Sir) Alexis Albert, who lived there until he died in 1962 with it then being vacant for more than a decade. 

Perth-based developer Warren Anderson owned it from the mid 1980s until 1993, when he was evicted by the Bank of New York and it was sold by the mortgagee to the now jailed fraudster Nati Stoliar for $6.6 million.

Then merchant banker Malcolm Turnbull was interested at the time, underbidding at its 1993 auction, for the home with its majestic Moorish porte cochère, arcaded loggias, oak panelled library with Tudor-style fireplace and its so-called peacock room conservatory.

Australia’s record house price was set last August at $70 million when James and Erica Packer sold their Vaucluse mansion, La Mer to Chinese-Australian businessman Dr Chau Chak Wing.

The historic Double Bay estate Elaine remains the most expensive property for sale in Sydney after agents set an official price tag of $80 million.

The trophy home, which sits over 6900 sqm on the harbour, has been on the market for two years through Ken Jacob’s of Christie’s International Real Estate. 

“It is one of the world’s most exciting opportunities,” he said. 

For more than 125 years it has been in the hands of the Fairfax family.

The Wang's concealed ownership of the property behind a complex shelf company structure, with Chaimovitch Investments Pty Ltd fronted by an elderly relative in Melbourne. 

It's purchase attracted the interest of the Foreign Investment Review Board at the height of Treasurer Joe Hockey's crackdown on illegal Chinese property purchases last year.

But Wang and his wife Guan Hongyan are now permanent residents, and deciding on downsizing, looking at what next to buy in either Sydney or Melbourne.

A spokesman said the sale was voluntary, not a forced divestiture.

This article was first published in the Saturday Daily Telegraph.

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of Australia's most respected property journalists, having been at the top of the game since the early 1980s. Jonathan co-founded the property industry website Property Observer and has written for national and international publications.

Sydney Harbour

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