Andrew 'Twiggy' Forrest emerges as buyer of Ben and Lucy May's Point Piper harbourfront

Andrew 'Twiggy' Forrest emerges as buyer of Ben and Lucy May's Point Piper harbourfront
Andrew 'Twiggy' Forrest emerges as buyer of Ben and Lucy May's Point Piper harbourfront

The mining billionaire from the West, Andrew 'Twiggy' Forrest, has helped lift the declining Sydney property market out of its doldrums.

The philanthropic Forrest has emerged as the $16 million mystery buyer of the matrimonial Point Piper harbourfront of hotelier Ben May and his wife Lucy, who paid $11.85 million two years ago.

There were whispers following the mid-week sale of the trendy 1950s modernist Wunulla Road home had been bought by a Perth billionaire, which narrowed the list down to five.

Forrest's net wealth is calculated by Forbes as nearly $4.5 billion. 

Andrew 'Twiggy' Forrest emerges as buyer of Ben and Lucy May's Point Piper harbourfront

The Forrests have had a bolthole apartment on Circular Quay since 2006. His last purchase, Tukurua, the historic $16 million Perth home, was briefly mooted as set to house refugees.  

Their acquisition of the south-facing Point Piper home won't get the picture postcard Opera House and Bridge views that homes on Point Piper's prestige Wolseley Road enjoy. 

His purchase is only the second known house sale in the exclusive suburb this year, in what has been the quietest purchasing patch since 2009 when there were just three house sales.

The highest house sale this year came when the waterfront home next to former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull sold for $19.2 million.

Forrest joins nearby low-key billionaire Alan Rydge who has shown no inclination to buying the neighbouring Routala, the home of Rubicon's Gordon Fell, which has a $55 million asking price.

As the mining bust dissipates, there's been some mining wealth emerge from across the Nullarbor plain.

Andrew 'Twiggy' Forrest emerges as buyer of Ben and Lucy May's Point Piper harbourfront

Susan Gibson, the woman who owns Perth's priciest home, spent $5.55 million on Crossways Farm in the Southern Highlands.

Mining tycoon Gina Rinehart has been buying up NSW rural holdings for her Wagyu beef enterprise and her daughter Ginia spent $14.75 million at Bondi Beach last year. 

It's in contrast to the restraint of Sydney's billionaires.

The casino tycoon James Packer has been exiting the Sydney market, including his longheld Bondi Beach bachelor pad, although he's committed to his $60 million off the plan purchase in the Crown Barangaroo complex.

On the waterfront since the early 1980s, Meriton apartment king Harry Triguboff is more interested in development sites than personal homes.

The retail family patriarch Frank Lowy has stayed put on the Point Piper waterfront for some four decades, having paid $310,000 in 1971.

Other Perth billionaires who own property in Sydney include the Seven Media tycoon Kerry Stokes at Darling Point.

This article first appeared in The Daily Telegraph. 

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Title Tattle Point Piper

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