While Australia’s property market begins to shift into the next phase of the cycle, and many of us battle steep interest rate rises and low consumer sentiment, the country’s richest are unphased, selling their multi-million dollar properties for record prices.

The most expensive properties sold so far in 2023 are spread across Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane and all fetched eye-watering prices and smashed sales records.

The sky-high prices aren’t just restricted to houses either, one four-bedroom apartment at One Barangaroo made the list again this year, selling for $3 million more than 24 months ago.

Here’s the full list.

Australia’s most expensive homes, 2023

  1. $70 million – 24 Victoria Road in Bellevue Hill, NSW
  2. $69 million – 49 Wunulla Rd, Point Piper, NSW
  3. $55-60 million – 55 Albany Road, Toorak, VIC
  4. $45 million – 31 Gaerloch Avenue, Tamarama, NSW
  5. $42 million – Tallebudgera Connection Road, Tallebudgera, QLD
  6. $41 million – 20 Shakespeare Grove, Hawthorn, VIC
  7. $40 million – 83 Fitzwilliam Rd, Vaucluse, NSW
  8. $40 million – 81 Fitzwilliam Road, Vaucluse, NSW
  9. $37 million – The Range, Coopers Shoot, Byron Bay, NSW
  10. $25.5 million – One Barangaroo, Sydney, NSW

Australia’s property market as a whole has experienced a sort of slowdown throughout 2023, with rising interest rates putting pressure on borrowing capacity and affordability.

And while prices haven’t dipped to pre-pandemic levels, the volume of properties for sale has certainly begun to peter out.

When it comes to Australia’s $20 million-plus property market, often regarded as a benchmark to trophy home status, there are generally fewer transactions occurring than in the mainstream market.

But it’s clear by the numbers achieved in the above list that the correction of Australia’s property market has done nothing to stop Australia’s wealthiest people from spending just as much (or even more) on their trophy homes throughout the past 6 months.

Here is a rundown of the top 5 most insanely expensive properties that sold in Australia in 2023.

1. 24 Victoria Road in Bellevue Hill, NSW – $70m

Source: realestate.com.au

In June, Flower King Leo Lynch purchased the historic estate Leura in Bellevue Hill for $70 million – more than twice the price it sold at 8 years ago.

The huge 4,260 sqm property has 8 bedrooms, 8 bathrooms, a ballroom, a tennis court, a pool, and Sydney harbour views.

The property was last sold for $30.8m in 2015, which was a price record at the time for Bellevue Hill.

2. 49 Wunulla Rd, Point Piper, NSW – $69m

Source: @milliondollarlistingsydney/realestate.com.au

Point Piper’s Spanish-style waterfront property was sold off-market to overseas buyers in April 2023… for a whopping $69 million.

The 1,200 sqm extensively renovated property has Sydney harbour views, a pool, a private beach, moorings, 5 bedrooms, and 5 bathrooms.

It was last sold for $10.5 million in 2004.

3. 55 Albany Road, Toorak, VIC – around $60m

Source: AFR

The Huntingfield property on Albany Road, previously owned by the late rich-lister Ron Walker, sold for around $60 million in April 2023 in what is Victoria’s most expensive residential sale so far this year and the third-highest on record.

The sprawling estate spans 3,291 sqm and comprises 6 bedrooms, 2 pools, a gym, a sauna, a wine cellar, a fountain, a waterfall, an 8-car basement garage, and a tennis court.

The property was last sold in 1981 for an undisclosed sum.

4. 31 Gaerloch Avenue, Tamarama, NSW – $45m

Source: realestate.com.au

Advertising guru David Droga paid $45 million for 31 Gaerloch Avenue in Tamarama – along the Bondi to Bronte walkway – in what is revealed as Australia’s most expensive oceanfront home.

The sale is not only a record for Sydney’s eastern beaches, but the highest of its kind in any oceanfront suburb in the state.

The modest 1,100 sqm four-bedroom bungalow property was built in the 1920s and sold for £9750 in 1959.

5. 49-109 Tallebudgera Connection Road, Tallebudgera, QLD – $42m

Source: realestate.com.au

This huge Gold Coast hinterland property was sold for $42 million in February 2023, in an unconditional cash offer at auction, making it the second most expensive property to go under the hammer in Australian history.

The 2,546 sqm Italian-style property has 10 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, a gym, balconies, a central courtyard, a ballroom, a 5-car showroom, a pool, a guesthouse, and a classic design with marble throughout and french doors.

It was last sold for $7.2 million in 2014.

The outlook for luxury property in Australia

When it comes to Australia’s most expensive properties, Sydney’s eastern suburbs and Victoria’s Toorak dominated the list for another year.

Although this time around, a Queensland property has also made the list.

Interestingly, realestate.com.au and Domain data show that the median house price for each of the top 5 suburbs doesn’t come in the same order.

Point Piper has the highest median house price of $9.9 million, putting it far ahead of nearby Bellevue Hill with its $7.9 million median house price.

Tamarama’s median house price sits at $8 million while Toorak’s median house price comes in at $5.4 million and Tallebudgera’s median is just $1.5 million

This context really does highlight how extravagant the top sales were – coming in as much as 28 times the suburbs’ median!

And according to Ray White senior economist Nerida Conisbee, the outlook for luxury property remains positive despite the general slowdown in the market currently occurring.

“The most popular luxury suburbs are short on land and as a result, it’s going to continue to be difficult to secure a home within them,” she said.

And despite inflation woes, there are still a lot of people making a lot of money who will be looking to buy beautiful properties.

A note for investors

While these most expensive property sales for 2023 so far make for interesting reading, they aren’t necessarily the suburbs I would recommend investing in.

And that’s because, at Metropole, we always advise on the importance of investment-grade properties and locations, rather than chasing a hotspot or growth area.

That’s areas and properties which hold their value over the long term, rather than benefit from an uptick in demand.

But even before looking for the right location, make sure you have a Strategic Property Plan to steer you through the upcoming challenging times our property markets will encounter.

Because aside from remembering that you should focus your efforts on investment-grade properties and locations, you also need to remember that property investing is a process, not an event.

That means that things have to be done in the right order – and selecting the location and the right property in that location comes right at the end of the process because what makes a great investment property for me, is not likely to be the same as what would suit your investment needs.

About Michael Yardney
Michael is a director of Metropole Property Strategists who create wealth for their clients through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He's been voted Australia's leading property investment adviser and his opinions are regularly featured in the media.