Melbourne’s Most Expensive Properties 
The Victorian capital’s top-grossing transactions.
The Victorian capital’s top-grossing transactions.
In 2018, art dealer Rod Menzies has sold his Malvern mansion for a house price record of $52.5 million.
The historic property at 336 Glenferrie Road — which was first Australia’s government house, Stonnington — was originally built in 1890 by Cobb & Co coaches partner John Wagner who occupied it until his death in 1901.
Spread over 1.2 hectares, sources who have been in the mansions allege it offers an abundance of bedrooms, living areas and wet zones with intricate detail in all its fittings.
The sale price for 47 Lansell Road, which is understood to be at the pointy end of its 40-44-million threshold has set not only Toorak’s price record, but is also the most expensive home sold at auction in Australia.
The home was treated to an overhaul at the hands of architects Carr Design, and luxury interior design practice Helen Green Design studio. Elsewhere the 3300sqm plot was treated to the work of Paul Bangay and his renowned gardens.
The 5-bedroom, 4-bathroom, 6-car home was the most expensive listing in Melbourne this year and boasted a swathe of luxury fittings and mod-cons including three kitchens (one regular, chef, commercial – of course), with Miele appliances, commercial grade fridges and stone benches.
The list goes on with the home offering, indoor-outdoor spaces with teppanyaki grill, luxurious cinema room, an outdoor leisure centre with pool, gym, tennis court, massage room and more.
Former Australia Post boss Ahmed Fahour sold his Hawthorn mansion in July. The price making it the second-highest ever paid for a residential property in Melbourne at the time of sale.
The standout home, known as Invergowrie was listed in 2018 – with Marshall White’s Marcus Chiminello.
Set on a massive 1.1-hectare block, the home offers five bedrooms and a three-bedroom brick guest house, a bluestone two-bedroom cottage and a hall that double as a gym.
The main homestead is two-storey and is defined by its distinctive colonial-goth architecture. It’s here that the property offers 15 separate rooms and is surrounded by sweeping lawns and gardens, dotted with mature trees.
The sale of ‘Mowbray’ on St Georges road saw the dual frontage home occupy one of the finest spots in Toorak within walking distance of Toorak village shops, cafes, restaurants and Melbourne’s top private schools. Perched on 5414sqm of land the six-bedroom family residence with formal lounge, formal dining, staff quarters, outdoor entertaining area, pool and tennis court.
The historic manor on Toorak’s Irving Road, better known as Chiverton, sold for more than $30 million.
The 6-bedroom, 5-bedroom, 6-car parking home was sold by Kay & Burton South Yarra selling agent Michael Gibson.
The coveted mansion sits on approximately 2170sqm of land with a further 980sqm attached for the tennis court. While the listing was split, the property was sold as a bundle.
With the tennis court, the home arrives with an outdoor swimming pool, Mediterranean façade, timber-lined ceilings.
Chiverton has five bedrooms, five bathrooms, two powder rooms, magnificent formal rooms, library, informal living, open plan kitchen, separate one-bedroom apartment, poolside summer house and four-car garage. Every room looks out to the extensive garden and lawns.
The superstar listing from famed concert promoter Michael Coppel sold for somewhere in the low-30-millions, although listing agent Marcus Chiminello of Marshall Whit wasn’t at liberty to divulge the specifics.
The 3066-square metre home is located in the most enviable locale in Melbourne, the 6-bedroom, 7-bathroom, 9-car garage residence and is replete with manicured gardens, stunning pool area and tennis court.
Inside, a soaring lobby and staircase impart grandeur and opulence, welcoming one into a home that is as flexible as it is luxurious.
The kitchen is privy to a large butler’s pantry with laundry and adjoining cool room – ideal for private chefs or large catered events.
The entertainment room is serviced by its own bathroom with all common spaces leading seamlessly to the lush, tropical outdoor entertaining and dining area, aforementioned swimming pool, cabana and tennis court.
Further, the home offers a bounty of bedrooms including a palatial main bedroom suite that features a substantial dressing room, ensuite, private gym and rooftop sun terrace.
Offering a touch of the English countryside in Melbourne’s Toorak comes this sprawling 4236sqm property on Grange Road. Purchased by tech wizard Guy King, the property was designed by Drew Cole Architects and features multiple formal and informal living rooms, four bedrooms, siz bathrooms, study, separate home office, gym cinema, cellar, six car basement garage, pool and more.
Inside it’s an entertainer’s delight with the kitchen featuring a huge marble island, AGA stove, integrated Subzero fridge/freezer, butler’s pantry, custom-made joinery and easy access to the formal dining room. Sliding doors connect the informal living to a shaded terrace for a myriad of indoor-outdoor entertaining options with steps down to the pool and garden.
Historic mansions, such as ‘Shrublands’ in Melbourne’s Canterbury, have undeniable old-world gravitas. And with such character come with a certain cost – this lavish home listed at what would’ve been a suburb record $42-$46 million.
However, the home was rumoured to take a $13 million hair cut, with some outlets reporting a price of $29 million.
Abercromby’s agent Jock Langley was tight-lipped about the final sale price.
The home features 9-bedroom, 9-bathroom and enough space for 10 cars among its 42-room spread.
Within the long-list of amenities includes a two-bedroom guest wing, basement cinema, billiards room, historic bluestone wine cellar, library, gym and newly-finished heated indoor pool and wellness centre.
Elsewhere Opulent gold-leaf finishes and crystal chandeliers give way to modern fixtures as highlighted in what’s an industrial-sized contemporary kitchen.
However, the home’s ‘piazza’ is the cherry on top, with the outdoor entertaining spaces fitted with heating via outdoor fireplaces.
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You’ll never guess where they found a little extra room when renovating this west coast house
There was a time, not too long ago, when the most important must-have for would-be renovators was space. It was all about space to be together and space to be apart.
But as house prices increase across the country, the conversation has started to shift from size for the sake of it towards more flexible, well-designed spaces better suited to contemporary living.
For the owners of this 1920s weatherboard workers’ cottage in Fremantle, the emphasis was less on having an abundance of room and more about creating cohesive environments that could still maintain their own distinct moods. Key to achieving this was manipulating the floorplan in such a way that it could draw in light, giving the impression at least of a larger footprint.
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Positioned on a site that fell three metres from street level, the humble four-room residence had been added to over the years. First order of business for local architect Philip Stejskal was to strip the house back to its original state.
“In this case, they were not quality additions,” Stejskal says. “Sometimes it is important to make sure later additions are not lean-tos.”
The decision to demolish was not taken lightly.
“Sometimes they can be as historically significant as the original building and need to be considered — I wouldn’t want people to demolish our addition in 50 years’ time.”
Northern light hits the site diagonally, so the design solution was to open up the side of the house via a spacious courtyard to maximise opportunities to draw natural light in. However, this had a knock-on effect.
“We had to make space in the middle of the site to get light in,” Stejskal says. “That was one of the first moves, but that created another issue because we would be looking onto the back of the neighbouring building at less appealing things, like their aircon unit.”
To draw attention away from the undesirable view, Stejskal designed a modern-day ‘folly’.
“It’s a chimney and lookout and it was created to give us something nice to look at in the living space and in the kitchen,” Stejskal says.
“With a growing family, the idea was to create a space where people could find a bit of solitude. It does have views to the wider locality but you can also see the port and you can connect to the street as well.”
A garden tap has also been installed to allow for a herb garden at the top of the steps.
“That’s the plan anyway,” he says.
Conjuring up space has been at the core of this project, from the basement-style garaging to the use of the central courtyard to create a pavilion-like addition.
The original cottage now consists of two bedrooms, with a central hallway leading onto a spacious reception and living area. Here, the large kitchen and dining spaces wrap around the courtyard, offering easy access to outdoor spaces via large sliding doors.
Moments of solitude and privacy have been secreted throughout the floorplan, with clever placement of built-in window seats and the crow’s nest lookout on the roof, ideal for morning coffee and sunset drinks.
The house has three bedrooms, including a spacious master suite with walk-in robe and ensuite overlooking the back garden. Adjustable blades on the bedroom windows allow for the control of light, as well as privacy. Although the house was designed pre COVID, it offers the sensibility so many sought through that time — sanctuary, comfort and retreat.
“When the clients came to us, they wanted a house that was flexible enough to cater for the unknown and changes in the family into the future,” Stejskal says. “We gave the owners a series of spaces and a certain variety or moods, regardless of the occasion. We wanted it to be a space that would support that.”
Mood has also been manipulated through the choice of materials. Stejskal has used common materials such as timber and brick, but in unexpected ways to create spaces that are at once sumptuous but also in keeping with the origins of the existing building.
Externally, the brickwork has been finished in beaded pointing, a style of bricklaying that has a softening effect on the varied colours of bricks. For the flooring, crazy paving in the courtyard contrasts with the controlled lines of tiles laid in a stack bond pattern. Close attention has also been paid to the use of veneer on select joinery in the house, championing the beauty of Australian timbers with a lustrous finish.
“The joinery is finished in spotted gum veneer that has been rotary cut,” says Stejskal. “It is peeled off the log like you peel an apple to give you this different grain.”
Even the laundry has been carefully considered.
“The laundry is like a zen space with bare stone,” he says. “We wanted these different moods and the landscape of rooms. We wanted to create a rich tapestry in this house.”
The owners now each experience the house differently, highlighting separate aspects of the building as their favourite parts. It’s quite an achievement when the site is not enormous. Maybe it’s not size that matters so much after all.
Interior designer Thomas Hamel on where it goes wrong in so many homes.
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