Australia’s Priciest Property: A Historic Waterfront Estate on Sydney Harbor

On sale for the first time in 123 years, this fabled Victorian mansion has its own private beach, among many other luxuries.

Photo courtesy of Ken Jacobs/Christie’s International Real Estate Built in 1863, this grand Victorian has seven bedrooms, seven bathrooms, a ballroom, stables and a grass tennis court.

There are few universal truths when it comes to real estate, but one of them is that people are willing to pay a premium to live on the water. Nowhere is that more evident than in Australia right now, where an historic home on breathtaking Sydney Harbor has just gone on the market, and it's anticipated that it will bring the highest price ever paid for residential property Down Under.

The expected price of the sale is somewhere between $70-$87 million U.S., which roughly translates to $80-$100 million in Australian dollars. The country's previous high for a residential sale was $45 million ($52 million Australian).

The estate, known simply as “Elaine,” includes frontage on the harbor, and sits only about four kilometers away from Sydney’s city center. That kind of property on the beach and so close to downtown is almost unheard of anywhere else in the world.

The coveted north-facing estate sweeps down to a secluded harbor pool and beach on Point Piper, one of Australia's most exclusive addresses. The land comprises six separate titles totaling 1.7 acres, with approximately 143-foot frontage on Seven Shillings Beach.

But Elaine also has historical value. It’s been owned by the family of an Australian media dynasty, the Fairfax’s, since 1891.  This is the first time it's been on the market in 123 years. Built in 1863, Elaine has seven bedrooms, seven bathrooms, a ballroom, stables and a grass tennis court. Its vast and elegant gardens have hosted some of the city's most glittering and important private events.

Surprisingly enough, Elaine is not listed on the State Heritage Register or National Trust. It's zoned Residential 2B, which means luxury apartments could actually be built on the property. That would be something.

Photo courtesy of Ken Jacobs/Christie’s International Real Estate With views like these, it's no wonder this is Australia's most expensive residential property to ever hit the market. Located on Sydney Harbor, close to city center, it's to go for from $70-$87 million U.S.

Clayton Andrews, Senior Vice President of Christie's International Real Estate, which is handling the property along with Australia's Ken Jacobs, recently toured the estate and said, "This is a spectacular historic mansion and the most significant residential listing ever to come on the Australian market. The harbor-front setting, and the knowledge that the scope is there to create something even more outstanding in the future, is really very exciting."

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