Forecasts of a double-digit pricing fall sparked by coronavirus-induced economic shock have done little to sway some prestige buyers.
What makes that even more surprising is high-end suburbs have largely propelled the current downturn, with the upper echelon of the housing market shedding 2.9 per cent in value since the end of March.
Despite that, Australia’s high flyers have continued buying trophy homes from the east coast to the west.
Here are five of the most expensive homes that have traded hands during the pandemic.
1. Coolong Road, Vaucluse – ‘High $30 million mark’
Australia’s highest-priced home sold during the pandemic (and for 2020) in the Sydney blue-ribbon suburb of Vaucluse is also a strong contender for the country’s greatest bargain.
Wentworth Courier stockbroker Robert Fiani bought the 1920s seven-bedroom mansion – replete with a tennis court, six-car garage, harbour-facing pool and boathouse – in the “high $30 million range” at private tender, according to the Australian Financial Review.
That figure, however, is roughly $20 million less than the asking price.
The property’s last owners (Vass Electrical Industries founder Nicholas Vass and his wife, Marion) bought the property for $3.7 million in 1986.
2. Berthong, Billyard Avenue, Elizabeth Bay – $35 million
Retired car dealer Laurie Sutton secured the keys to this century-old villa as Sydney emerged from its coronavirus lockdown in May.
The waterfront mansion was built in 1886 on a 1600-square-metre block and maintained its charm with an abundance of exotic plants, striking pillars and period-appropriate architecture.
The eclectic property was formerly the home of the Murdoch family and also figured as Russell Crowe’s bachelor pad shortly after he found success with Gladiator.
Crowe last sold the property to lawyer Peter Ziegler for $11.5 million, two years after he originally bought the trophy home.
3. Lindsay Avenue, Darling Point – $32 million
Sutton’s purchase preceded the sale of his trophy home in nearby Darling Point to Pamela Lee, the wife of Borg Constructions co-founder John Borg, for $32 million.
The five-bedroom, seven-bathroom property was built in 2006 under the ownership of nightclub doyen Barry Wain, with many of its features nodding to Tokyo’s Imperial Palace.
Michael Dysart was tasked with designing the property, which includes his-and-hers dressing rooms and a fully functional gymnasium.
4. Watkins Road, Dalkeith – $27.5 million
Perth’s housing market continues to lag behind east coast markets after WA’s mining boom ran out of steam – but that did not stop a mystery buyer from snapping up one of the city’s most lavish homes.
The six-bedroom waterfront mansion sits on a 6406-square-metre block and was previously owned by late businessman Alan Bond.
Ray White Cottesloe chief executive Jody Fewster oversaw the sale, which marked the latest chapter in her childhood home’s journey (Ms Fewster is the youngest of Bond’s four children).
The property sold well below its already heavily-reduced asking price of $35 million from Susan Gibson, after the WA Planning Commission pondered subdividing the land into six separate lots.
5. Prince Alfred Parade, Newport – $24.5 million
Tech entrepreneur Mike Cannon-Brookes set a new price benchmark for Sydney’s northern beaches when he purchased supermodel Jennifer Hawkins’ Casa Paloma in June.
Cannon-Brookes warded off competition from a number of interested buyers for the home, which was designed by Sydney-based architectural firm Koichi Takada.
The beachfront property sports an eye-catching sandstone feature wall, harbour-facing, floor-to-ceiling glass panels that extend to cantilevered terraces and landscaped gardens stretching down to a boathouse.
Hawkins and her husband, model-turned-property developer Jake Wall, listed the property after she gave birth to their first daughter, and the couple now has plans to settle down with family on the NSW Central Coast.