Australia's luxury market on the upswing sees record-breaking sales

The market is only going to get stronger, agents say

Australia's luxury market on the upswing sees record-breaking sales


By Mina Martin

Property sales records are being smashed across Australia’s prestige property markets, despite the interest rate hikes, softening prices in some cities, and uneasy consumer sentiment, with agents expecting many more to be set in the next half year.

Michael Pallier, principal of Sydney Sotheby’s International Realty, said, “sales and prices have both been very strong at that top end,” driven by lack of stock on the market, low Australian dollar compared to the US dollar, and the surge of expats and migrants coming into the country.

“No doubt prices will remain strong as I don’t see a lot of new stock bursting onto the market any time soon in a volume that’d be enough to satisfy the high level of demand,” Pallier told Domain. “People are looking for good family homes and large, luxury apartments. I have a very positive feeling about this year.”

In Sydney, some of the record-breaking sales this year so far included that of the historic Leura estate at 24 Victoria Road in Bellevue Hill, which set a new suburb high of $70 million; the $69 million sale of 49 Wunulla Road, Point Piper; and the sale of 81 Fitzwilliam Road, Vaucluse (pictured above) for just over $40 million.

Pallier said there’s also another property at 82 New Beach Road, Darling Point that is close to settling for another $70 million.

Apartments, too, have been selling well. In Crown’s One Barangaroo, a four-bedroom, four-bathroom apartment is being picked up for a cool $25.5 million.

Michael Finger, of McGrath Real Estate Double Bay, said Sydney’s eastern suburbs appeared to be enclosed in their own little bubble, impervious to the sting of interest rate hikes.

“People buying these properties have perhaps sold a business for multi-millions or come up with some concept, invented something, or are at another level in their professional lives, like surgeons,” Finger said. “They’re bulletproof in terms of any talk of a recession.”

Melbourne also had more than its fair share of blue-chip sales so far, after last year’s $80 million sale of an unfinished mansion at 29-31 St Georges Road, Toorak – its most expensive home ever sold.

In June, a palatial six-bedroom house in 55 Albany Road, Toorak, was snapped up with a guide of $55 million to $60 million. And just last month, a Victorian mansion at 20 Shakespeare Grove in Hawthorn, complete with nine bedrooms, seven kitchens and two resort-style pools, was bought for $41 million.

Also selling for a handsome, but undisclosed, price were 4305 Frankston-Flinders Road, Shoreham with the guide of $18 million to $19.8 million and 41-45 Yarrbat Avenue, Balwyn with a guide of $13 million to $14 million.

Key listings now on the market include 61 Clendon Road, Toorak, for $42 million to $46 million, 16 Moule Avenue, Brighton, for $39.9 million to $43.89 million, and 16 Balwyn Road, Canterbury, for $37 million to $40 million, Domain reported.

Ross Savas, Kay & Burton managing director, said those sales were the ones no one knows about and just add to the numerous sales that his team has conducted off-market this year.

“We’re finding it a very strong market with a lot of expats coming back from the UK and Europe because of the war in Ukraine and Russia, as well as a lot of new migrants,” Savas said. “Australia is a very hot market at the moment for families to come here and educate their children.

“We’re bound by confidentiality, so can’t talk about many of our sales, but we feel the luxury market is only going to get stronger. A lot of records have already been broken and that’s going to continue.”

The high-end apartment market is also doing well, with a sub-penthouse above level 75 in STH BNK by Beulah bought for $38.5 million, smashing the record price set in March.

It’s also a fine year for Brisbane, price-wise.

The city’s record sale set last year was that of a six-bedroom house at 673 Musgrave Road, Robertson, which was bought for $17.25 million. That might be topped by the sale of a four-bedroom penthouse at 250/1 Newstead Terrace, Newstead. The property, which boasts 52 metres of uninterrupted river frontage, last sold in 2008 for the then record of $14.25 million and is now expected to fetch a great deal more, with a co-listing by Sarah Hackett of Place New Farm.

“It’s an absolutely magnificent property,” Hackett said. “Stock levels are still at an all-time low, which is keeping prices high, so it’s an amazing time to sell. Certainly, we’ll have more records smashed by the end of the year.”

She just sold a 1,600sqm riverfront estate at 90 Virginia Avenue, Hawthorne, for $11.1 million, and 22 Quay Street, Bulimba, for $10.4 million, and is now looking to sell a penthouse at 25/70 Oxlade Drive, New Farm, for $12.95 million, and 19 Ormadale Road, Yeronga, for offers over $8 million.

Records were tumbling in the tightest market for decades – Perth, where a penthouse apartment in Crawley at 8/20 Mounts Bay Road sold for $6.92m, and an old apartment block at 40 Mount Street, West Perth, was bought for $7.6 million.

“The quality, high-end luxury house and apartment market in Perth is so busy, it’s ridiculous,” said Peter Robertson, William Porteous Properties International director. “Good properties are thin on the ground and high construction costs means far fewer new houses and apartments are being built.”

Adelaide’s top end of the market is also having a good year.

A 2023 sale in North Adelaide has eclipsed the city’s previous record sale of $10 million to $11 million for the Anglican Diocese’s 164-year-old mansion Bishop’s Court by “several million dollars.”

High-end real estate is also thriving outside the capital cities.

In Byron Bay, the $37 million sale of the luxury farmhouse Coopers Shoot, on 48 hectares set a new record for the NSW North Coast this year.

A new record is also expected to be set in South Coast, with the sale of 106 North Kiama Drive, Kiama Downs, which will likely sell for more than $10 million.

In Queensland, Noosa’s record was smashed by a four-bedroom apartment at 5/81 Hastings Street, which fetched $16.1 million.

In country Victoria, the $7.2 million sale of 36 Griffiths Street in May set a new record in Port Fairy by, although that could soon be outranked by 109 Beach Street, which is on the market for $7.2 million to $7.5 million, Domain reported.

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