In order to avoid COVID, the wealthy pursue multimillion-dollar mansions in Australia's property market.
With the country's third most expensive home snapped up in a Sydney suburb, the luxury end of the housing market still performed strongly.
In some of the most exclusive postcodes in the country, high-end buyers seeking a safe haven from the pandemic sought out mansions.
Once again, Sydney dominated the top sales as waterfront views were prioritized by buyers.
But the most expensive property in the country, a Point Piper mansion that was sold in September for $95 million, was only enough to rank as the third most expensive house in Australia.
That record went to a nine-bedroom penthouse in Barangaroo at One Sydney Harbour, which last year sold for a whopping $140 million. It broke the $100 million mark set for a Point Piper property, Fairwater, in 2018 by Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes.
The Wolseley Road site, however, has a rare 40 m harbour front, boasts one of the few harbour tennis courts in the suburbs and sits directly in front of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House in a coveted location. There's also a deep water jetty, which has a kitchen and an indoor pool for recreation.
But until 2022, when the transaction is supposed to be resolved, the new owner will not be hitting the ball around.
The four-level house, which is known as Edgewater, was divided into two separate apartments by its developers, Joe Brender and the late Sam Moss, co-founders of the women's fashion chain Katies. In 1985, they acquired the property for $5m as a concrete shell.
But once the agreement is concluded, history will be made. With the new owner preparing to turn it into one home, the mansion would snatch the record for being the most costly housing amalgamation for a single buyer.
Point Piper was a famous suburb, according to Core Reasoning, with another harbourside mansion selling for $51 million in April. The property has five bedrooms, a library, a home cinema with a wet bar and kitchenette by the pool, and provides views of Shark Island and the Manly skyline.
Guests or workers can hide away in self-contained quarters, while the basement is large enough for seven vehicles, a garage, home gym and a 5000-bottle climate-controlled wine cellar.
These mansions in Point Piper were so exclusive that they weren't marketed. But there were more individuals looking for property above the $10 million mark, possibly because we were all trapped at home and luxury properties are a nice diversion, says Nerida Conisbee, chief economist of realestate.com.au.
The $17 million mark was all demolished by the most expensive properties listed on realestate.com.au.
A five bedroom Vaucluse house was the highest seller on the site, which also set the record for the most expensive house sold at auction. For $24.6 million, it went under the hammer, shattering its reserve by $10.6 million.
Nine of the most costly properties listed on realestate.com.au were in Sydney, while when it sold for $22.6 million, a Queensland waterfront pad in Mermaid Beach also made it onto the list.
It was not shocking that real estate in Sydney continued to rank so high, Ms Conisbee says.
"Sydney is a much more expensive city in Australia than anywhere else, and the locations that tend to see incredibly high prices are not just beautiful homes, they are usually waterfront and inner city, and that also drives prices," she told news.com.au.
"In the middle of nowhere, you can build the most beautiful and magnificent home and you won't get the prices you do if you build on the waterfront in inner Sydney-where that's you get these incredible prices."
These bedroom views in Mosman will buy you 18 million dollars. Image photo: realestate.com.au.
Thanks to its low level of COVID-19 infections, the Australian market was also fortunate to retain high prices, adds Ms Conisbee, although the latest northern beach outbreak showed that the situation may be fragile.
Australia has done very well economically during the pandemic and that has poured through to luxury property as we have not had a serious lockout and have succeeded in getting through much better than other countries," she said."
While buyers of these high-priced properties always come from abroad, they may be Australian citizens, but as they have gone global with their companies, they do very well from a revenue and wealth perspective.
"There are quite a number of expat buyers and that keeps prices high and the reason expats want to buy is that Australia has not been as affected by COVID as the rest of the world."