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The most expensive home sales of 2017 — and those set to break records in 2018



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IT could be a record-breaking year for the state’s property market, with experts predicting a fresh wave of migration into southeast Queensland to drive home prices higher in 2018.

BRISBANE’S housing market could smash through the $20 million price ceiling in 2018 on the back of a record-breaking year that heralded a new era for the city’s property sector.

With an exodus of Sydney and Melbourne homeowners predicted to sell up and move to the Sunshine State this year, agents say the only way is up for prestige property prices.

The top sale of 2017 in Queensland was a clifftop Kangaroo Point home, which sold for a whopping $18.48 million — easily eclipsing the prior $14 million record set in late 2014 when mining magnate Gina Rinehart bought a home in Aaron Ave, Hawthorne.

The luxurious home at 1 Leopard Street became Brisbane’s most expensive residential property when it settled in March last year.

It was also one of the 25 most expensive home sales of 2017 in Australia.

Ray White New Farm principal Matt Lancashire, who brokered the landmark sale, along with four of the top five house sales of 2017, is optimistic a new record could be set this year.

“There are a number of property owners I’m talking to that may, or may not, potentially do something this year (that would see a new record set),” Mr Lancashire said.

“There are not too many properties in Brisbane that have the capacity to do that, however, there are some amazing homes.

“It’s just whether the ducks line up for the sellers.”

Mr Lancashire said he was aware of at least two properties that could fetch more than 1 Leopard Street.

“Brisbane is undervalued compared to the southern states,” he said.

“I think $20 million is the next Brisbane barrier — that’s definitely an achievable target.”

Ray White New Farm principal Matt Lancashire (L), with Hamish Bowman, negotiated four of the top five house sales in 2017, including the house behind them at 24 Palm Ave, Ascot. Picture: Lyndon Mechielsen.Source:News Corp Australia

Ray White New Farm principal Matt Lancashire (L), with Hamish Bowman, negotiated four of the top five house sales in 2017, including the house behind them at 24 Palm Ave, Ascot. Picture: Lyndon Mechielsen.Source:News Corp Australia

CoreLogic senior research analyst Cameron Kusher said there was potential for Brisbane homes to fetch even higher prices in 2018, with a fresh wave of interstate migration likely to drive prices higher.

“Migration to Queensland is picking up from New South Wales and Victoria where people are accustomed to much higher prices,” Mr Kusher said.

“I wouldn’t be surprised to see higher priced sales this year than we saw last year just because although the market’s not really hot, you are seeing some growth and people are moving here from areas where it’s a lot more expensive.”

Macquarie Bank expects about 130,000 people to move from Sydney to Brisbane in the next three years, bringing with them an estimated $8.1 billion.

But Mr Kusher admitted it would be a hard task to eclipse the record set by 1 Leopard Street.

The opulent residence spanning three levels features five bedrooms, six bathrooms, an internal lift, a gym, a sound proof cinema, a wine cellar and marble flooring imported from Greece.

A heated infinity lap pool and spa span the width of the property on the cliff’s edge, offering almost 72 metres of uninterrupted views of the Brisbane River and city skyline.

“That’s a pretty unique property,” he said.

“Not too many properties have a view like that.

“But it’s not unrealistic to see a $10 million sale this year.

“What you can get for $10 million in Brisbane, you’d probably pay $30 million for in Sydney.”

The view from the bathtub in the apartment at 10/170 Bowen Tce, New Farm. Source: Supplied

The view from the bathtub in the apartment at 10/170 Bowen Tce, New Farm. Source: Supplied

A two-floor, “sky home” apartment in New Farm was the most expensive unit sale of the year in Queensland, fetching $6.15 million.

The property at 10/170 Bowen Tce features four bedrooms and four bathrooms over two levels, with amazing views of the city from every room.

Place managing director Sarah Hackett said homes of that quality rarely became available in Brisbane, but there was definitely a strong appetite for them.

“There are people that have that sort of money looking to buy in Brisbane … but trying to find them a property that suits them is hard,” she said.

“Those properties do exist, but the owners are mostly happy living in them!”

She said she and her husband, Damian, had sold $9 million worth of property in the week before Christmas.

“The end of the year was really strong and I think (2018) will start strong,” she said.

One of the properties on the market with the potential to breach the $20 million barrier is the opulent house built by one of Australia’s most notorious businessmen, Christopher Skase.

The opulent mansion built by Christopher Skase could break records if it sells in 2018. Source: Supplied

The opulent mansion built by Christopher Skase could break records if it sells in 2018. Source: Supplied

The nine-bedroom, nine-bathroom mansion, known as ‘Bromley’, at 36 Dickson Tce, Hamilton, was built in 1988 at a reported build cost of $35 million and was extensively renovated ten years later.

A luxury residence built into the side of a hill at 10 Morgan St, Ascot, is tipped to change hands for more than $14 million — when the right buyer comes along.

This house at 10 Morgan St, Ascot, is tipped to sell for more than $14 million. Source: Supplied

This house at 10 Morgan St, Ascot, is tipped to sell for more than $14 million. Source: Supplied

The four-storey home had been expected to set a new record for Brisbane before 1 Leopard St sold.

Other properties with the potential to fetch big dollars if they sell this year include ‘Cintra House’ at 23 Boyd St, Bowen Hills, which is one of Brisbane’s oldest and most prestigious homes, and ‘Rivergum Retreat’ at 36 Needham St, Fig Tree Pocket, which is owned by Linc Energy founder Peter Bond.

Stefanie Brown at the historic Cintra House which she is selling. Picture: Peter Wallis.Source: News Corp Australia

Stefanie Brown at the historic Cintra House which she is selling. Picture: Peter Wallis.Source: News Corp Australia

The second highest sale in Queensland in 2017, according to property data firm CoreLogic, was on the Gold Coast, where a palatial Hope Island mansion changed hands for $16.75 million.

A Vietnamese businessman bought the waterfront residence at 2620-2622 Virginia Drive after just five days on the market.

This home at 2620-2622 Virginia Dr, Hope Island, fetched $16.75m in 2017. Source: Supplied

This home at 2620-2622 Virginia Dr, Hope Island, fetched $16.75m in 2017. Source: Supplied

Further north, the biggest house sale of the year in Cairns was at Trinity Park for $2.5 million, while a house in Townsville’s North Ward fetched $1.825 million.




Price Sale Date Address

1. $18.48m March 2017 1 Leopard St, Kangaroo Point

2. $8.8m September 2017 128 Crosby Rd, Ascot

3. $8.3m February 2017 24 Palm Ave, Ascot

4. $7.6m June 2017 26 Mayfield St, Ascot

5. $7.6m June 2017 2 Castleton St, Hamilton


Price Sale Date Address

1. $6.15m March 2017 10/170 Bowen Tce, New Farm

2. $5.662m March 2017 450/1 Newstead Tce, Newstead

3. $4.9m June 2017 2141/32 Refinery Pde, New Farm

4. $4.3m May 2017 602/1 Gray St, New Farm

5. $4m May 2017 141/1 Newstead Tce, Newstead

(Source: CoreLogic)



Price Sale Date Address

1. $16.5m May 2017 2620-2622 Virginia Dr, Hope Island

2. $9.5m February 2017 201-205 Monaco St, Broadbeach Waters

3. $9m March 2017 75-77 Monaco St, Broadbeach Waters

4. $6.95m February 2017 The Promenade, Surfers Paradise

5. $6.95m June 2017 Southern Cross Dr, Surfers Paradise


Price Sale Date Address

1. $5.5m April 2017 Gold Coast Hwy, Broadbeach

2. $3.795m March 2017 Brighton Pde, Southport

3. $3.7m January 2017 The Esplanade, Surfers Paradise

4. $3.5m June 2017 Enderley Ave, Surfers Paradise

5. $3.38m May 2017 The Esplanade, Palm Beach

(Source: CoreLogic)



Price Sale Date Address

1. $1.825m August 2017 Cleveland Tce, North Ward

2. $1.4m May 2017 Saltwater Dr, Toomulla

3. $1.25m May 2017 Landsborough St, North Ward

4. $1.2m February 2017 Panorama Crt, North Ward

5. $1.12m May 2017 Edinburgh Crt, Castle Hill


Price Sale Date Address

1. $1.4 October 2017 The Strand, North Ward

2. $1.2m September 2017 Walker St, Townsville City

3. $1.19m November 2017 Mariners Dr, Townsville City

4. $1.15m April 2017 Mariners Dr, Townsville City

5. $1.1m May 2017 Mariners Dr, Townsville City

(Source: CoreLogic)



Price Sale Date Address

1. $2.5m October 2017 Brindabella Quay, Trinity Park

2. $2.15m November 2017 Apollo Quay, Trinity Park

3. $2.025m October 2017 Knott Crt, Whitfield

4. $1.75m February 2017 Marina Quay, Trinity Park

5. $1.5m February 2017 Gaway St, Caravonica


Price Sale Date Address

1. $2.35m January 2017 Marlin Pde, Cairns City

2. $1.25m February 2017 Grafton St, Cairns City

3. $1.2m February 2017 Esplanade, Cairns North

4. $1.1m March 2017 Marlin Pde, Cairns City

5. $1.1m September 2017 Colonel Cummings Dr, Palm Cove

(Source: CoreLogic)

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Market Place

Brisbane’s most expensive suburbs



brisbane suburbs

Inner city favourite New Farm is officially Brisbane’s most expensive suburb, with a median house price of $1.7 million.

New figures from the Domain Group have revealed the top 20 most expensive suburbs, ranked according to median house price — and, with Brisbane’s property market now in the ascent as the best performing capital city in Australia, it paints a strong picture of where the city’s wealthiest residents are willing to park their cash.

Acreage hot spot Chandler, in Brisbane’s eastern suburbs, took out third place with a median house price of $1.585 million.

Old money favourites Ascot ($1.5 million median price) and Hamilton ($1.421 million median price) were closely followed by the inner eastern riverfront precinct of Bulimba, which had a median of $1,307,500.

expensive suburbs
These houses sit in Brisbane’s most expensive suburb: New Farm.

Other suburbs that made the top 20 most expensive list included Hawthorne, where Gina Rinehart’s $18 million estate fronts the Brisbane River; Clayfield (median price $1.125 million) and Kangaroo Point (median $1.03 million) – home to the  most expensive house ever sold in Brisbane: a clifftop mansion worth $18.48 million.

As well as taking out the title of Brisbane’s most expensive suburb, New Farm was also recently revealed as Brisbane’s best performing suburb for capital growth, with prices having soared nearly 90 per cent in the past five years.

New Farm’s remarkable success came as no surprise to local Ray White agent Matt Lancashire, who described it as the “Brisbane suburb for everyone”.

“There’s just so much in New Farm amenity-wise. New Farm is always the first place to boom and the last to cool off,” he said.

“My open numbers at the moment are huge. There’s such a strong desire to be in this suburb and I see that only continuing in the future years as Brisbane gets incredible new amenities like Howard Smith Wharves.”

brisbane suburbs
Ascot is up near the top of Brisbane’s most expensive suburbs – 27 Sutherland Avenue sold for $11 million in 2018.

In Ascot, long-term resident Jenny Richardson has listed her house at 7 Bale Street for sale but she’s not moving far — she’s already bought a new property only a couple of streets away.

Ms Richardson has lived in Ascot since 2000 and said she wanted to stay because of the lifestyle it offered.

“Ascot has just got that lovely family feel about it, it really is such a wonderful community,” she said.

“It’s so quiet it’s got that suburban feel but with the proximity to the city and everything else — the Gasworks, Portside and James Street — and that means it’s the best of both worlds.”

expensive suburbs
Jenny Richardson at her home at Ascot, one of Brisbane’s most expensive suburbs.

Fourteen kilometres southeast of the CBD, the acreage suburb of Chandler consistently rates as one of Brisbane’s most expensive suburbs. Home to enviable land sizes ranging from a hectare to four hectares, it’s sought after for its proximity to Manly, as well as its peaceful treed surroundings.

Local Remax agent  Deborah Evans explained the “acreage precinct” of Chandler, Gumdale and Belmont was in high demand, although Chandler’s higher median house price of $1.585 million was partly due to its status as an acreage-only suburb.

“Every property in Chandler is an acreage property so naturally that will keep the median price high,” she said.

“Neighbouring Gumdale actually has more demand but its median is brought down by the non-acreage houses that sit on regular-sized residential blocks of land.”

She said demand always outstripped supply in the area and prices were rising — she recently sold a one-hectare acre block on Formosa Road for $1.6 million for land value only.

brisbane suburbs
Made up entirely of acreage estates, like this property at 11 Tyberry Street, Chandler is one of Brisbane’s most expensive suburbs.

Ms Richardson’s Bale Street home is a four-bedroom, three-bathroom contemporary residence set on one of Ascot’s most sought-after streets and — even more importantly — in the Ascot State School catchment.

“I’ve loved living here; I’ve got wonderful views out to the hills and the house is functional and quite timeless,” she said.

“I think Ascot is one of those suburbs people are always going to want to live in. It’s got such a wonderful feel.”

Brisbane’s top 20 most expensive suburbs:

1. New Farm$1.7 million11. St Lucia$1,122,500
2. Teneriffe$1.65 million12. Auchenflower$1.11 million
3. Chandler$1.585 million13. Paddington$1.11 million
4. Ascot$1.5 million14. Brookfield$1.1 million
5. Hamilton$1.421 million15. Kalinga$1.049 million
6. Bulimba$1,307,50016. Kangaroo Point$1.03 million
7. Fig Tree Pocket$1,202,50017. South Brisbane$1,026,250
8. Hawthorne$1.2 million18. Hendra$1.025 million
9. Pullenvale$1.2 million19. West End$1.02 million
10. Clayfield$1.125 million20. Highgate Hill$1 million


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Highgate Hill:Brisbane’s most tightly held suburbs



highgate hills

When people move to Highgate Hill, they fall so in love with the suburb they don’t want to leave.

Domain Group data from 2017 showed the suburb was the most tightly held within five kilometres of the Brisbane CBD, with property owners loath to move outside its borders.

Domain senior research analyst Dr Nicola Powell says tightly held areas tend to be those where people are on their second home, in the throes of raising a family, and are looking for proximity to schools, transport infrastructure, shops and entertainment options.

Highgate Hill, where the dominant demographic is families, ticks those boxes. Two kilometres south of the Brisbane CBD on the Brisbane River, the suburb is in the sought-after Brisbane State High School catchment and has great connectivity via buses and trains.

It’s also 12th most walkable suburb in Brisbane, according to Resolution Research.

Sierra Nuvo apartments start at $785,000. Image: Supplied

“To leave an area that meets all that criteria requires a really good reason,” says Dr Powell.

Despite being close to major activity hubs, the hilly suburb still holds onto its more relaxed, suburban vibe, which is a huge part of its appeal, says Cam Milne, co-owner of Vvaldmeer cafe and a local resident.

“I think with West End now having been very much swamped with cafes, bars and trendy shops, it’s only natural that Highgate Hill would follow.”

Matt Pendragon, Shed 41 Café & Galleria owner, decided Highgate Hill was a perfect area to open a “relaxing, dog friendly, phone-charging, ‘sit down and have a brew’ space”.

He lives in the area too, and is often surprised to learn how many locals have been in Highgate Hill their whole lives, some even living in the houses they grew up in.

“The suburb, although being only a stone’s throw from the CBD, is so peaceful and tranquil, the houses are well kept, and the sense of community is stronger here than in any other place I’ve lived.”

Being tightly held puts pressure on prices, and the result has been 26.8 per cent growth over the past five years, according to Domain data.

brisbane high gate hills
Highgate Hill. Photo: Tammy Law

The median house price broke through the $1 million barrier last year after rising steadily, but since then there has been a slight pullback, says Dr Powell. It’s now sitting at $950,000 and the median unit price is just over $440,000.

“If you take away last year’s performance, the suburb has overall been outperforming Brisbane as a whole,” she says.

“In terms of house prices it was growing at a healthy rate between 2013 and 2017 and there were periods of time [where] there was double-digit growth.”

After children have flown their Highgate Hill coop, their parents don’t want to leave but they do want to downsize, while still staying within the boundaries of the suburb. That’s where apartment developments tailored for owner-occupiers, such as Sierra Nuvo, come in, making up part of the suburb’s diverse housing stock.

The 44-apartment luxury development launched in August, and has been popular with downsizers from the 4101 postcode, including Highgate Hill, South Brisbane and West End.

It offers two, three and four-bedroom apartments, plus four premium penthouses, with prices ranging from $785,000 to $2.835 million. Each apartment includes two car parks, while penthouses come with three car parks as well as a storage cage.

highgate hills
Sierra Nuvo has been popular with downsizers. Image: Supplied

Stephen Browne, principal of Skyring Real Estate, working with the developer behind Sierra Nuvo, says the development at 18 Jones Street is just 900 metres’ walk from Brisbane State High School, two kilometres from the Brisbane CBD, close to bus stops and is in one of the “super quiet” spots in Highgate Hill.

It’s in an elevated position with city views that can never be built out, he adds.

“You can almost hear the crickets when you drive into the street,” he says.

“From the sky garden on the rooftop, which has a 15-metre infinity edge lap pool, wading pool and spa, barbecues and entertaining pods, there are unencumbered 300-degree views that will be there for the rest of time.”

He says buyers have been particularly drawn to the level of finish of the luxury apartments in the building, with designer kitchens featuring granite stone benchtops, the latest Smeg and Pitt appliances, integrated fridge/freezer, integrated dishwasher,  Vintec drinks fridges, and a separate custom laundry for each residence.


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Will the new Brisbane State High School catchment affect property prices?



Changes made to Brisbane State High School’s catchment zone are already affecting properties for sale in the area, according to local real estate agents.

The state government released new catchment maps last week which revealed Brisbane State High School’s catchment zone could be cut by 25 per cent to manage pressure on its rising enrolments.

The school’s current catchment stretches through West End and out to Dutton Park but, under the new draft catchment, students from more than 500 households in Dutton Park, Woolloongabba and Highgate Hill would no longer be eligible for direct entry to State High once the neighbouring high-rise school in Dutton Park opens in 2021.

brisbane state highschool

19A Gloucester Street, Highgate Hill, recently went under contract with four offers in one weekend because it will still fall in the catchment.

It’s been a devastating revelation for homeowners who bought in the area specifically to be in the catchment of Queensland’s top performing state high school, said Sam Peterffy, of Harcourts Homeside.

Not only are they upset at being kicked out of the catchment, they’re worried the value of their property will fall because if it, she said.

“Of course the people who are already living here are worried — many of them bought here for the school,” she said.

brisbane state highschool

7 Grantham Street, Dutton Park, is a six-bedroom family home that would fall outside of the Brisbane State High School catchment.

“I feel sorry for these people. They might have young children, aged five and under, and bought here planning for their children’s future. Now that’s up in the air. It’s not a great situation for them.”

Ms Peterffy said the local property market had already been affected.

“From a buyer perspective, I have people who were looking in these areas and have straight up said they’re no longer looking at Dutton Park or anywhere that’s out of the catchment,” she said.

brisbane state highschool

7 Grantham Street, Dutton Park: Marketing agent Ben Salm said being outside the BSHS catchment zone could potentially affect property prices of those homes who are currently in the catchment zone.

Brisbane State High School is a 3200-student strong, selective GPS school, sought-after for its top academic results and extensive extra curricular program.

Demand for places is so high, the school employed an investigator this year to uncover families rorting the catchment system.

Ben Salm of Place Estate Agents is selling a beautiful six-bedroom family home at Grantham Street, Dutton Park, that is currently in the State High catchment, but would be bumped out under the new plan.

He said it had already affected the property’s desirability for some buyers.

“It’s something we’ve seen a fair bit of with feedback from the buyers coming through,” he said.

“They’re unsure about the new school because it’s all so unknown at this stage; that creates a hesitancy and then you get less competition, which potentially means lower prices.

“Because this house is now looking like it’ll be out of the State High catchment, the feedback we’re getting suggests the price could be $50,000 less than what it might have been worth three to six months ago.

“There is a grace period though, so you never know what will happen.”

It’s important to note the effect on current and future families will not be immediate. Brisbane State High School students living in the proposed catchment zone for the new school will be allowed to remain enrolled at State High for the duration of their studies, while their siblings will still be able to enrol under transitional arrangements.

The government also said that families with primary school children living in a street which appears on both catchment maps can choose to enrol their child at either school.

But the changes are causing a lot of uncertainty. Ms Peterffy recently sold a house at Gloucester Street, Highgate Hill, a street where some houses will still fall in the catchment and others won’t.

This particular house will still be in the catchment, so the competition to secure it was strong, with four offers in one weekend, Ms Peterffy said.

“I had a couple who argued about it. The husband was saying that the new school was likely to be great but the wife was really worried about it,” she said.

“She just kept saying, ‘But it’s not going to be Brisbane State High, it won’t be the same’. So for them, the fact this house would still be in the catchment in a few years’ time was very important to them.

“That said, there will always be people who will want to buy in Dutton Park anyway. It’s the best suburb in Brisbane in my view.”

And Ms Peterffy said the silver lining would be in the new school, Inner City South State Secondary College, which had the potential to bring new buyers to the area long term.

“Some buyers who may not previously had Dutton Park and surrounding areas on their radar may come here because there is going to be a shiny new school with the best of everything and a connection to the University of Queensland,” she said.

“I know everyone wants to be in the State High catchment right now but my prediction is this new school will be in the top 10 state high schools in Queensland very quickly.”

Mr Salm said the property market could pick up again in these areas once the plans for the school are finalised and released to the public.

“It could actually create quite a bit of excitment in the area once there’s a lot more detail released and prices could go up again,” he said.

“I think in the long term this school will be competition for State High but at the moment it’s making buyers unsure about being in the area, and will only make competition for property staying in the State High catchment even tougher.”

The maps and the enrolment management plan are out for public consultation until September 30.


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