The 25 most expensive house sales of 2017 across Australia

The 25 most expensive house sales of 2017 across Australia
The 25 most expensive house sales of 2017 across Australia

The top sale of 2017 was the Double Bay harbourfront mansion Elaine (above), sold by the Fairfax family for $71 million through Ken Jacobs at Christies International.

It sold to the billionaire Rich Lister Scott Farquhar and his wife Kim Jackson, who'd been previously content in a Pyrmont apartment.

Farquhar, co-founder of software company Atlassian topped the BRW Young Rich List again this year, along with business partner Mike Cannon-Brookes. Their combined wealth was tallied at just over $6 billion.

The top echelon of Australia's prestige property this year has seen a national price record and three state records. But nothing seemed overly easy.

The cut off for inclusion in the Property Observer national top 25 list was $18 million, based on registered sales, plus those that have sold at undisclosed prices awaiting settlements.

There are sales across four capital cities, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane.

Jacobs suggested that the recently introduced government regulations alienating overseas investment in Australia, meant the trophy home market was needing to be supported by the domestic market.

Elaine had been in the Fairfax family dynasty for 120 years before its sale which took almost three years to secure.

It's initial press commentary - by the Fairfax press - damaged the initial campaign when a silly $100 million prospect price estimate was published based on calculating the foreshore price per square metre capability to the entire 7000 sqm parcel that runs between the premium Seven Shillings Beach and the so-so New South Head Road position.

The unrenovated home had previously traded when bought by Geoffrey Evan Fairfax in the 1890s.

Next door to Elaine is Fairwater, the other Fairfax family home, which is likely to come to market next year following the death of Lady Mary Fairfax.

Mike Cannon-Brookes would rank as a serious a prospect to secure the prized offering.

Elaine's sale topped the previous $70 million house record set in 2015 when Ken Jacobs sold the Vaucluse mansion, La Mer, (below) on behalf of James and Erica Packer to Chinese-Australian businessman Chau Chak Wing. It sold off market.

The 25 most expensive house sales of 2017 across Australia

A mid-December sale saw the Singaporean businessman CK Ow's luxury Vaucluse mansion sell at a reputed $67 million (below).

It had been listed with hopes of bettering Sydney's $71 million record price by the chairman of the hotel owner and developer Stamford Land Corporation.

Phoenix Acres, a 3731sq m site with six-bedroom, six-bathroom home, was last traded 22 years ago for $7,001,000 from the Braham family. Craig Pontey of Ray White sold it to Ow.

Despite the hoopla of attracting interest from potential buyers from as far away as New York, India and Beijing, the deal was struck with a local buyer on Sunday some eight weeks after it quietly hit the market.

The 25 most expensive house sales of 2017 across Australia

The price gain, before costs, reflected 10 percent annual price growth at around $18,000 per sqm.

Agents were hoping to better tycoon James Packer's 3300 sqm non-harbourfront mansion, also in Vaucluse which sold in 2015 for $70 million, and in April this year John B Fairfax family's Elaine estate on 7000 sqm in Double Bay that sold for its still standing $71 million record.

Had Phoenix Acres sold to a foreign buyer it would have incurred around a $700,000 fee to FIRB, plus an extra $10 million in purchase duty and premium property duty payable on foreign buyers, along with a likely annual land tax of around $2 million.

The Phoenix Acres site was originally a public park with a wharf ferry service to Circular Quay before the legendary publisher Ezra Norton built his mansion, then known as Albemere, in the mid-1960s.

It set a record $370,000 price when first sold in 1968, having also been the highest then build costing an estimated 250,000 pounds

The Melbourne and Brisbane markets have been equally buoyant record prices during 2017.The first was in Brisbane when a clifftop Kangaroo Point home sold for $18.48 million, easily eclipsing the prior $14 million record set in late 2014 when mining and farming magnate Gina Rinehart bought a Brisbane riverfront home.

The record-breaker (below), sold by City Motor Auctions Group boss Angelo Russo and wife Sandra, was a three-level Leopard Street home, the work of renowned designer Greg Harris, who created the vast 1445 sqm split level residence.

The home came with five bedrooms, six bathrooms, a home office with adjoining boardroom, a fully equipped gym and steam room, sound proof cinema and a wine cellar.

A heated infinity lap pool and spa spans the width of the 1,184 sqm parcel and runs along the cliffs edge, with gun barrel views of the Brisbane River.

The 25 most expensive house sales of 2017 across Australia

The marketing through Ray White New Farm agent Matt Lancashire suggested no expense had been spared by the owners, including heated Saint Lorraine marble flooring from Greece used across the living and entertaining area.

Then mid-year came Melbourne's record breaking sale in Toorak.

Reports emerged in July of a new $40 million record house price set by 18 St Georges Rd, Toorak.

The grand 1920s home, known as Mowbray, was bought off-market, with its selling agent yet to claim credit with settlement still to come. 

Mowbray was sold by former Mirvac director Marina Darling and husband Anthony who acquired it from venture capitalist Roger Allen and his wife Dianne for $4.9 million in 1995, the highest sale in Melbourne of that year. It sold again in 1987 at $3.95 million.

The five-bedroom two-storey residence stretches across around 5000 square metres was built by noted architect Christoper Cowper, though not protected by heritage overlay.

The sale of the Mowbray estate exceeded the prior record of $26.25 million paid by Netflow managing director Phil Dreaver last year for the modern 9 Towers Road mansion owned by the Besen family.

Mowbray's buyer will be hit with a $5 million stamp duty bill, including a 7 per cent surcharge for foreign buyers in Victoria, which came into effect in July last year.

The mooted FIRB application fee of $412,000 applies for a $40 million home. The buyer also faces the prospect of an annual land tax bill of about $370,000 if the Toorak mansion is not their principle place of residence and another $300,000 in annual taxes from January 1 next year should it remain empty for more than six months in any calendar year.

But Marcus Chiminello says "Melbourne has never experienced such demand in the $10 million to $40 million bracket."

Indeed Chiminello recently advertised his desire for a $50 million home for a local client who has yet to secure their dream home.

The agency launched an advertising campaign this month to find potential sellers. Chiminello estimated there were 50 properties in the leafy inner east that were worth more than $35 million, but all were tightly held.

There was a $19 million Myvore Court, Toorak auction sale, which would've warranted inclusion in the Property Observer top 25 list, but the deal fell over with the resale coming in at $16 million.

Perth secured its highest residential sale in six years with $21.5 million paid in Mosman Park during 2017. It was sold by the Creasy mining family to Alan Tribe.

The Chidley Way home on a 4045 sqm site was designed by architect Robert Cann.

Creasy’s former husband Mark, a mining prospector, had paid the highest price for a WA property when he bought the mansion for $8 million from the late Multiplex construction boss John Roberts in 1995.

There's already been a good offer on the former Bond home in Dalkeith. 

It is being marketed as among Perth's most expensive houses with $50 million plus hopes.

The Watkins Road mansion sits on the Swan River.

Real estate agent Willie Porteous suggests the four-storey home (below) has gained millions in value since it was bought in 2011 following its extensive renovations, including a complete make-over of the outdoor area.

It has been listed by mining entrepreneur Steve Wyatt and his wife, Sue.

The 25 most expensive house sales of 2017 across Australia

The property last traded for $39 million sale in 2011 when sold by businessman Barry Patterson, who was Sonic Healthcare chairman from 1999 to 2010 and previously held gold mining interests.

It last traded in 1999 for $9.5 million, which was to stand as Perth’s record until 2006.

The seven-bedroom riverfront mansion is set across six titles totalling 6,400 square metres.

Gold mining magnate Ross Atkins bought the property in 1993 from the Bond family trust company, Armoy Pty Ltd, for $7.3 million, selling it six years later to Patterson after extensive renovation.

Wyatt’s business associate Chris Ellison set the WA real estate record when he paid $57.5 million for iron ore heiress Angela Bennett's riverfront compound in Mosman Park in 2009.

In Canberra a Deakin home, with views of Parliament House, sold for $5.75 million recently through Luton Properties, the third highest sale in the nation's capital.

The house's 2010 construction to its designed by local architect Terry Ring on its 1710 sqm grounds saw extensive use of dry stack stone walls, marble, natural timber and sandstone.

In Tasmania's Hobart the Sandy Bay mansion Sentosa sold for a $6.5 million record.

The 100 year old home, which was bought by Sydney property developer Piers Dawson Damer and wife Kim, was designed by Marco Linardi. It sits in 2310 sqm of Paul Bangay-designed gardens on Blinking Billy Point.

Knight Frank selling agent Matthew Chugg described Sentosa as one of Tasmania's finest homes.

Sentosa topped the previous $6.06 million record set in 2011 when Waimea House, a Federation Arts and Crafts style on hillside Sandy Bay sold.

Adelaide's record price hasn't budged since 2015 when Ivanhoe, the Gilberton home built in 1889, sold quietly for $7 million, with the top sale so far this year being $4 million.

Ken Jacobs has an unsold Rose Bay estate listed with record setting 2018 aspirations for the Sydney and Australian markets.

Straddling five land titles with a frontage to Rose Bay beach, the 4000 square metre property belongs to Adrienne Dan, the wife of eminent Sydney neurosurgeon Professor Noel Dan.

It comes with two houses, pool and a tennis court.

The top 25 sales of 2017

1. $71 million: Elaine at Double Bay when local tech billionaire Scott Farquhar bought the prized beachfront from John B Fairfax.

2. $67 million*: Phoenix Acres at Vaucluse where CK Ow fell disappointingly short of taking the mantle as most expensive home ever sold.

3. $45 million*: Deauville, Longworth Avenue, Point Piper when car importer Neville Crichton secured a beachfront home subject to its construction completion.

4. $40 million*: Mowbray, 18 St Georges Road, Toorak when the grand 1920s home was bought off-market by Chinese buyers, with its selling agent yet to claim credit with settlement still to come.

5. $36 million: 110 Wolseley Road, Point Piper when Neville Crichton onsold to property investor Andrew Potter.

6. $33 million: 110 Wolseley Road, Point Piper when Neville Crichton bought from the Zamel family.

7. $30,263,400: Yarranabbe Road, Darling Point when John Roth and wife Jillian Segal bought.

8. $30 million*: Bayview Hill Road, Rose Bay when the home of the late Sonja Lyneham was bought by Samira Jeihooni, wife of property developer Arash Tavakoli.

9. $29 million*: The Boatshed, Wunulla Road, Point Piper which after three years on the market was offloaded by the O’Neil family.

11. $28 million: New Beach Road, Darling Point when the digital entrerepnuer Patrick Grove bought from the Meagher family.

12. $26.5 million: Vaucluse Road, Vaucluse when the media scion Alexander Ma bought the residence of businessman Yaron Remen and his wife Shauna.

13. $22.45 million: Bay Street, Mosman/Beauty Point when the property developer Bryan Rose bought the Pick a Box house.

14. $22.1 million: Vailele, The Point Road, Woolwich when the Salter family sold to the Wang family.

15. $21.5 million: Chidley Way, Mosman Park. Perth saw its highest sale for six years. 

16. $21 million+*: Belhaven, Victoria Road, Bellevue Hill when the Brambles chairman Stephen Johns sold Belhaven to Dominic Stevens.

17. $21 million: Coolawin Road, Northbridge when Primo Smallgoods heiress Kristie Ward bought the 3434sqm holding from the Salteri family.

18. $20 million+*: Bonnington, Victoria Road, Bellevue Hill when sold by the executors of the late businessman Neville Christie.

19. $20 million*: Wyuna Road, Point Piper when the LA entrepreneur Andrew Banks made a return to Point Piper.

20. $20 million*: Ashton, Elizabeth Bay Road, Elizabeth Bay when the travel industry entrerepenuer Ray Harris sold the historic Ashton on the loop

21. $20 million: Wunulla Road, Point Piper when the property investor Andrew Potter sold his waterfront to Sarah Mayo.

22. $19.18 million: Fernleigh Gardens, Rose Bay when the Horizon Media owners Semyon and Dina Pinchuk sold to Xia Danrui.

23. $18.48 million: Kangaroo Point, Brisbane. A new home sale set an all-time Brisbane report price through Ray White.

24. $18 million+*: Sundorne, Victoria Road, Bellevue Hill when Cranbrook School sold to the property developer Eduard Litver.

25. $18 million: Bulwarra, Hunters Hill when Cate Blanchett and Andrew Upton sold after an earlier 2016 sale to Chinese buyers fell over.

25. $18 million: Nee Morna, Sorrento when one of Victoria's most historic coastal estates was bought by BRW Rich Lister and property developer Andrew Buxton. Not to far away on the peninsula, and just off the top 25 list was the Good Guys whitegoods boss Andrew Muir purchase of Miramar, the stunning Flinders home built by entrepreneur Daniel Besen and wife Danielle. It just fell shy of inclusion. Settlement records show Muir paid $17 million for the Wood Marsh-designed home that was described as 'land art by the sea' by its selling agent, Peninsula Sotheby's International Realty agent Rob Curtain.

Joel Robinson

Joel Robinson

Joel Robinson is a property journalist based in Sydney. Joel has been writing about the residential real estate market for the last five years, specializing in market trends and the economics and finance behind buying and selling real estate.

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