Ex-Melbourne Rebels Rugby Club Owner Puts 19th-Century Mansion Back up for Sale
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Ex-Melbourne Rebels Rugby Club Owner Puts 19th-Century Mansion Back up for Sale

The Italianate Victorian-era home, with six bedrooms and renovated interiors, is now asking A$13.5 million to A$14.3 million

By KIRSTEN CRAZE
Tue, Apr 9, 2024 9:43amGrey Clock 3 min

Former Melbourne Rebels rugby club owner Andrew Cox has put his notable 19th-century house in the Australian city’s Brighton suburb back on the market with a multimillion-dollar price cut.

The grand dame, a rare Italianate mansion called Narellan, was last on the market in April 2021—amid Melbourne’s on again off again series of strict pandemic-induced lockdowns. At the time, the 1880s residence had an ambitious asking price of A$18 million to A$19 million (US$11.88 million to US$12.54 million) but failed to sell. Now, with new listing agents, Gowan Stubbings and Will Maxted of Kay & Burton Stonnington, the house has a revised price guide of A$13.5 million to A$14.3 million.

Stubbings said the expansive six-bedroom house on 1,389 square meters on Moule Avenue, just streets from Brighton Beach, is priced to sell.

The home features a long list of ground floor entertainment spaces including an elegant entry porch.
Courtesy Kay & Burton Stonnington

“It’s certainly in very good company in the caliber of A$10 million up to A$50 million homes,” Stubbings said. “Brighton, like many of Melbourne’s elite suburbs, has seen several of its historic homes modernised and changed over the years, but Narellan is an icon for the area,”.

The home’s white Italianate Victorian facade is eye-catching, Stubbings said.

“It has such a majestic nature. You can see it being one of the original Brighton landmark homes,” he said. “When I walk up to the top of the turret and take in the views over Port Phillip Bay, it takes me back to another time and I can imagine the ships coming back towards the city.”

Cox, the former Melbourne Rebels Super Rugby club owner ,paid A$5.71 million for the estate in 2006, according to CoreLogic records.

New Zealand-born Cox now runs private equity fund Imperium Capital Group, a diversified investment company that acquires small and medium enterprises mainly in the tourism, hospitality and sports management sectors.

The house also belonged at one point to powerhouse employment website seek.com.au’s co-founder Andrew Bassat.

Cox declined to comment on the sale of the property, but it is understood that during his ownership the vast two-story house has been completely updated.“It’s been very sympathetically redone for its era,”  Stubbings said. “People love the big ceiling heights, the large rooms and the natural light, but it’s the kitchens and bathrooms that give it a more modern feel. It all works incredibly well together, especially when you’ve got bathrooms spilling out onto the upstairs terrace, it’s just like a luxury hotel.”

“This home has been designed so that someone can just move in and enjoy it. There’s nothing more to do. They’ve modernised it beautifully to the way we live today. I just think they’ve nailed it,” Stubbings added.

The home features a long list of ground floor entertainment spaces including an elegant entry porch and foyer leading to a large study or library, a sitting room, formal dining room, an elaborate billiard room with bar, a combined living area and a contemporary kitchen. There is also a sunroom, gym, sauna and self-contained two-bedroom guest wing with a commercial-grade kitchen.

Courtesy Kay & Burton Stonnington

Upstairs are six spacious bedrooms, including a main suite with bay window, private balcony, walk-in wardrobe and ensuite plus access to the unique turret with sweeping views of Port Phillip Bay and city skyline. The upper floor also houses two additional living rooms and two more balconies.

Peter Sidwell and Andrew Cox of Imperium Sports Management after becoming owners of the Melbourne Rebels, in 1995. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Outdoors, the home is surrounded by landscaped grounds with manicured hedges, rose bushes, level lawns, an alfresco barbecue terrace with fireplace as well as a pool house with a bathroom and kitchen and pool.

The period home is a short walk from the beach with sought-after schools, popular boutiques and eateries nearby.



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Owning a Home in an LGBTQ-Friendly Area Comes With a Hefty Price Premium
By LIZ LUCKING
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The cost of owning a home in an LGBTQ-friendly area in the U.S. comes with a hefty price premium of almost 50%, according to a report Wednesday from Redfin.

In a metropolitan area with state laws protecting LGBTQ people from housing discrimination, a home buyer needs to earn an annual income of $150,364 to afford a median priced home. That’s 46.8% more than the $102,435 buyers need to earn to afford a home in places without such protections, the online property portal said.

For the purposes of their report, a metro is considered to have protections if the state it’s located in prohibits housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity, Redfin explained. In the case of metro areas which span multiple states, Redfin considered the metro to have protections if at least one of the states it’s located in prohibits such discrimination.

“LGBTQ+ Americans face disproportionately large barriers to homeownership,” said Redfin senior economist Elijah de la Campa in the report. “On top of paying a premium to live somewhere that feels safe, many LGBTQ+ house hunters are earning less than the typical U.S. worker, and face discrimination while shopping for homes despite laws that prohibit it.”

The locales where individuals identifying as LGBTQ make up the largest share of the adult population are also those where housing is the least affordable, the report found.

In San Francisco, where 6.7% of the adult population identifies as LGBTQ—the highest share of any of the 54 metropolitan areas Redfin analyzed—only 5.1% of listings last year were affordable based on the median local income, one of the lowest shares in the country.

In Portland, Oregon, which had the second highest share of LGBTQ adults at 6%, only 6.7% of homes for sale were affordable; in Austin, Texas, where 5.9% of the adult population identifies as LGBTQ, 2.9% of listings were affordable.

And in Seattle and Los Angeles, where LGBTQ adults make up 5.2% and 5.1% of the population, 4.8% and 1.9% of homes for sale were affordable, respectively.

All but one of those top LGBTQ metros—Austin—has state-level protections, the report said.

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