Fairwater sells for $100 million mortgage-free to Mike Cannon Brookes

Fairwater sells for $100 million mortgage-free to Mike Cannon Brookes
Fairwater sells for $100 million mortgage-free to Mike Cannon Brookes

Australia’s most expensive house, Fairwater, which sold for $100 million earlier this year, was bought mortgagee free.

The Double Bay harbourfront mansion sold to the tech billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes and his wife Annie in September.

The only official name on title is Mike's. The transfer document doesn't specify the price.

The title document affirms its Double Bay location, despite reports by the former Fairfax Media newspapers that the property was located into Point Piper.

It was on the market for three weeks through Christies International agent Ken Jacobs.

The second-most expensive house, Rona in Bellevue Hill, sold in October, for $58 million. 

The Cannon-Brookes family had already taken the keys to the property ahead of its initial extended settlement terms.

Fairwater sells for 0 million mortgage-free to Mike Cannon Brookes

“We love the idea of raising our four young children in this historic property, filling the house and gardens with love and laughter through the years,” they said on its purchase.

Fairwater is the largest privately-held property on Sydney Harbour at 1.12 hectares.

It comes with an 1881-built residence designed by architect John Horbury Hunt.

Built for stockbroker Francis Edward Joseph, it last traded in 1901 for £5350 when purchased by Sir James Oswald Fairfax, grandson of The Sydney Morning Herald co-founder John Fairfax.

It was listed by the executors of the estate of the late Lady (Mary) Fairfax, who died in 2017, aged 95.

Lady Fairfax briefly contemplated gifting her mansion to the people of NSW. 

In 1996 Lady Fairfax announced a trust of seven was being established to oversee the estate's future. 

Lady Fairfax, who later declined to confirm her intended gift, had moved into Fairwater with her husband, Sir Warwick in 1969.

During her decades the Fairwater grounds had been regularly opened for charitable fundraising occasions, including the East West Foundation, the Australia Ireland Fund, the Opera Foundation Australia (founded by Lady Fairfax) and the Cochlear Implant Centre, Sydney. 

At one dark stage in the Fairfax annuls, the mother of fallen media boss Warwick Fairfax, suggested after he lost the newspaper empire, that she might have had to sell part of the grounds to pay the land tax and its upkeep.

"Fairwater is safe but what is Fairwater without the garden, it's just another big old house," she said amid the 1990 company stockmarket turmoil. 

Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar, who owns the unencumbered neighbouring home, Elaine, were ranked equal 11th and 12th on this year’s Financial Review Rich List, worth $5.16 billion.

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of our authors. Jonathan has been writing about property since the early 1980s and is editor-at-large of Property Observer.

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