While the rest of us sweat over mortgage interest rate fluctuations and property bubbles, the owners of these mega-mansions are immune to the everyday vagaries of real estate.
Chinese billionaire property developer Dr Chau Chak Wing admits he didn’t even bother with a walk-through before writing out a cheque for $70 million to buy the La Mer mansion in Vaucluse from James Packer.
That was a new residential record in Australia and almost twice the cost of the next highest priced lot, Mandalay, Point Piper, which sold for $39.9 million.
For those lucky few with the cash to splurge, the eastern suburbs was again the place to buy, accounting for the top slots.
Here’s how the serious money was spread around…
La Mer, Vaucluse $70m
Updated from the original Guilford Bell-design by Alex Tzannes, this architectural gem was quickly snapped up by Dr Chau Chak Wing, the Chinese property tycoon after he got the green light from his wife who lives full-time in Australia. Formerly owned by James Packer and his ex-wife Erica, the 3345sqm estate is now officially Australia’s most expensive residential property. The previous highest was the $57.5 million set in 2009 for a Perth riverfront compound.
Mandalay, Point Piper $39.9m
The Point Piper trophy residence sold to road construction developer Phillip Dong Fang Lee and his wife. Toorak-bound ex-tobacco boss Bill Well had bought the five-bedroom, five-bathroom European style villa with Harbour views for $20 million in 2004. At the time it was another non-waterfront house record for Sydney, eclipsing the $39 million paid for the Villa del Mare mansion a few doors away late last year by Chinese billionaire Xu Jiayin.
Villa del Mare, Point Piper $39m
The luxury home Villa del Mare is a world-class address exuding all the glamour of the Mediterranean throughout its six-bedroom, eight-bathroom splendour.
Gladswood Gardens, Double Bay, $38m
Malaysian-born property tycoon Lee Seng Huang and his wife pounced on this waterfront mansion, formerly owned by Multiplex scion Andrew Roberts. The eight-bathroom home, set on 1145sq m of north-facing land and with a water frontage of more than 55m, sports a private jetty, mooring, boat store and infinity pool. The three-level house was completed in 2005 with the design inspired by the renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Mr Roberts paid $10.1m for the site in December, 2003, Core Logic records show.
Leura, Bellevue Hill, $30m
The sale by businessman Ken Allen and his wife, Christine, to an Australian Chinese buyer came the day before it was scheduled to go to auction, and for in excess of its original $30 million guide. Built in the 1890s for Tom Knox, managing director of the Dalgety stock and station agency, in the Federation Queen Anne style and set on a vast 4260 square metres, the mansion includes eight bedrooms, eight bathrooms, a ballroom, tennis court and a swimming pool.
Wolseley Road, Point Piper, $28m
Software specialist Qingling Wang, 25, knows a good ‘do-up’ when he sees one, swooping in on this ‘renovator’s delight’. The former owner then reputedly spent then spent $12.85 million of that on the Vaucluse slow-mover of former investment banker and venture capitalist John Grant.
Indah, Rose Bay, $27m
After a contemporary $6 million renovation, the crash pad of New York-based fund manager Alwyn Heong was snapped up by expat UK barrister Georgina Black. She’s the wife of Graham Edwards, who is the chief executive of the UK’s property giant Telereal. The five-bedroom mansion was last sold in 2006 for $18.2 million by mortgage broker Matthew Sample. The renovations included re-positioning the swimming pool and opening up the internal living areas to take advantage of the gun-barrel view towards the Harbour Bridge.
Loch Maree, Vaucluse, $24m
Cosmetic surgeon turned hotel mogul Jerry Schwartz and his wife Debbie are the third owners of this fabulous waterfront property. The Michael Dysart-designed residence was built in the early 1970s by the late IPEC founder Gordon Barton. It last traded in 1993 for $4.75 million when bought by entrepreneur Duncan Saville and his wife Julie.
Bulwarra, Hunters Hill $19m+
It took less than three weeks for the home of actress Cate Blanchett and her husband Andrew Upton to be bought by Chinese buyers who already owned property in Point Piper. Although the price was never officially announced, it is expected that the historic landmark mansion sold for about $20 million, given bullish interest from buyers. The creative couple had invested significantly in the 3642 square metre property since they purchased it a decade ago for $10 million from merchant banker Jim Dominguez and his wife Suzanne.
Wunulla Road, Point Piper, $18m
South African Nando’s billionaire Dick Enthoven become the latest of Point Piper’s elite waterfront homeowners after paying in excess of $18 million for his new Wunulla Road home. The co-owner of the global food chain, the Hollard Group of insurance companies and Spier Wine Farm, has an estimated net worth of US$1.1 billion. His new home comes complete with boat shed and ramp, jetty, pool, cinema, elevator access to all levels, alfresco terraces and full length with views from all four floors.