Finance Property Lindsay Fox’s ‘Boomerang’ could fetch $60 million
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Lindsay Fox’s ‘Boomerang’ could fetch $60 million

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Sydney’s finest Spanish mission-style trophy home ‘Boomerang’ is up for sale with reports suggesting it could fetch a whopping $60 million.

Lindsay Fox, the Melbourne-based billionaire trucking magnate, has held the Elizabeth Bay landmark harbour-front home since 2005. It was bought for $21 million.

The Billyard Avenue property has been offered quietly through the Ray White Double Bay office who seemingly don’t value it as a record-setting property anymore.

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The Hollywood-style mansion has often been ranked as the most expensive house in the country.

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 mid-1970s.

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Boomerang has been ranked as one of the most expensive houses in Sydney. Photo: Supplied
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The house was built in 1926 for wealthy Sydney music publisher Frank Albert. Photo: Supplied
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Boomerang was sold to Lindsay Fox for $21 million in March 2005. Photo: Supplied

The Fox family have preserved the home’s interiors, with the noticeable difference being outside, having commissioned landscape designer Myles Baldwin to do the gardens on the 4200 sqm estate.

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 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.

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Trucking magnate Lindsay Fox with his wife, Paula. Photo: AAP

Then a merchant banker, Malcolm Turnbull underbid at a 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.

Victoria’s priciest home remains the Spanish mission Portsea clifftop home, Ilyuka, which was sold to the Higgins family at $26 million in a 2010 exchange by former Computershare director Michele O’Halloran.

The 1930s Spanish Mission house, marketed by veteran agents Ross Savas and Gerald Delany, is a sprawling house built for American oil tycoon Harry Cornforth in 1929-30.

A lavish modern Toorak mansion owned by one of the well-known Smorgon family is currently listed with expectations of smashing the record as Victoria’s most expensive property.

The estate at 4 Robertson Street hit the market earlier this month through Marshall White agent Marcus Chiminello.

The nation’s priciest weekend auction result was when an Elizabeth Bay harbourfront apartment – five doors along from Boomerang – fetched $7 million.

It last sold in 1997 at $3.6 million off the plan. There were just two bidders for the 240 sqm, three-bedroom apartment, which sold through McGrath agent Peter Starr at its reserve price.

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The covered, wraparound balcony enjoys views over Elizabeth Bay. Photo: Supplied
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The master bedroom at 3/28 Billyard Avenue opens onto the balcony and has its own ensuite bathroom. Photo: Supplied

Melbourne’s top weekend result was $5.11 million when a Monomeath Road, Canterbury home was sold through Jellis Craig.

Bonbret, a five-bedroom 1910 Edwardian home sat on a 1021 sqm garden lot which last sold in 2007 at $2.99 million.

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Bonbret offers four bedroom and three bathroom. Photo: Supplied

There was a big Brighton sale too – but it was a record price paid for a bathing box on Dendy Beach.

The bidding for bathing box 44 kicked off at $275,000, which was just $20,000 short of the prior record set in February.

Two competing locals saw the box sell at $307,000, having last sold four decades ago.

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The small bathing box on Melbourne’s foreshore sold at a record price at the weekend. Photo: Supplied

According to CoreLogic RP Data, as the property market moves towards its traditional winter hibernation, Melbourne was by far the busiest capital city auction market this week.

Some 1157 auctions were held, up from 843 last week, but lower than one year ago when 1248 went under the hammer.

The success rate for the city remained steady at 70 per cent, but well down on the 80 per cent last May.

Performance was somewhat varied with clearance rates ranging from as high as 78 per cent in the outer east across 77 auctions to as low as 65 per cent in the south east across 121 auctions.

Melbourne had the nation’s cheapest result when a South Yarra flat fetched $260,800. The one-bedroom Punt Road offering last traded at $32,500 in 1983. Williams Batters had offered a $240,000 to $260,000 price guidance on the apartment that had been rented in 2013 at $280 a week.

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The apartment on Punt Road in South Yarra. Photo: Supplied

Sydney was again the strongest capital city with a 75 per cent clearance rate based on 773 auctions held across the city, with 615 results reported so far. In comparison, last year there was an 85 per cent clearance rate from 1149 auctions.

Sydney has maintained a relatively strong mid-70s clearance rate since mid-February this year.

Strong Sydney sub-regions this week included the eastern suburbs at 91 per cent across 116 auctions and North Sydney and Hornsby at 83 per cent across 114 auctions.

Brisbane had 190 auctions this week, up from 131 last week, but lower than the 213 one year ago. Preliminary results show a clearance rate of 40.2 per cent across the city, compared to 50 per cent last week and 48 per cent at the same time last year.

The preliminary clearance rate for Adelaide was 52 per cent this week with 122 auctions held, down from 68 per cent last week across 92 auctions.

There were 107 Canberra auctions this week, the busiest week since March with a 64 per cent success rate, down from 67 per cent last week and 68 per cent one year ago.

Meanwhile, property construction across the country has come to a grinding halt to the tune of $5 billion, according to the Australian Financial Review.

The newspaper is reporting that developers are getting cold feet as an ‘oversupply’ of apartments is driving prices down and costs up.

“I think a lot of people are more cautious now and sensibly so,” property planning expert Peter Hyland said. “People are closely looking at who is carrying the risk. People are looking at how the market is slowing and they have to be prudent.”

Jonathan Chancellor is editor-at-large at Property Observer.

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