Elaine Estate sells more than $70 million to tech billionaire Scott Farquhar

He's the proud new owner of Australia’s most expensive house, but Atlassian co-founder Scott Farquhar is unlikely to be enjoying the harbour views any time soon.

Despite shelling out $75 million for the Sydney waterfront mansion ‘Elaine’, Farquhar will have to spend millions more just to make the property liveable, according to reports.

The historical seven-bedroom Point Piper property has not been lived in for nearly 20 years and will require an estimated $4 million in renovations to restore it to its former glory, The Australian reports.

Elaine, owned by the Fairfax family since 1891, was on the market for three years before being bought by Farquhar on Friday, smashing Australia’s previous sales record of $70 million set when James and Erica Packer sold their harbourside pile after their divorce.

Farquhar has revealed the reason he parted with the eye-watering sum was to save it from developers.

“Could totally be top of the market,” Farquhar tweeted after news of the sale broke at the weekend.

“My expertise is software not property trends! But couldn’t let it be chopped up by developers.”

The nearly 7000sq m estate had originally been listed for $100m, but the Fairfax family was prepared to accept significantly less not to see it fall into developers’ hands, The Australian Financial Review reports.

Selling agent Ken Jacobs told the newspaper owner John Brehmer Fairfax had “repeatedly rejected” higher offers from developers interested only in subdividing the property to build apartments.

Billed as the most significant property on the market, the three-storey Point Piper home boasts seven bedrooms, five bathrooms, stables, a harbourfront garden and tennis court, sandstone walls and paths, plus direct access to Seven Shillings Beach.

Set on a 6986 square metre block on New South Head Rd, the trophy home is three times the size of the nearby Point Piper home Altona, which sold for $52 million in 2013.

It’s a big step up from Farquhar’s humble digs in Pyrmont, where paid $1.4 million for a two-bedroom home in 2006.

Now he lays claim to the nation’s most expensive view — an honour previously held by Chau Chak Wing, the Chinese businessman who paid $70 million for James Packer’s former Vaucluse mansion La Mer in 2015.

Farquhar co-founded the software company Atlassian with his university friend Mike Cannon-Brookes in 2002 using $10,000 in credit card debt, creating software that is now used by more than 51,000 large and small organisations including NASA, Tesla and SpaceX.

The pair first appeared on the BRW Young Rich List in 2007 and nine years later, in 2016, topped the list with a combined net worth of $4.6 billion.

Elaine had been on the market for more than three years and while it had no price guide the stunning residence had been expected to fetch up to $100 million.

Built in 1863, the estate was bought by Geoffrey Fairfax in 1891 had only traded within the family since then.

John B Fairfax bought it from his father, Sir Vincent Fairfax, for $3 million in 1989. He moved out in 2011, opting to lease the property, reportedly because neither of his sons wanted to live there.

Farquhar and his wife, Kim Jackson, have said they look forward to raising a family in the palatial home.


Originally sourced from news.com.au


Kim Cattrall’s New York City apartment is as sultry and fabulous as you’d expect it to be


In 2003, Kim Cattrall had been living in a tiny, low-ceilinged one bedroom on the Upper East Side, populated by mismatched furniture she’d been carting around for years. She’d spent most of her thirties and forties on location, living out of suitcases, or working 18-hour days on the set of Sex and the City. She was nearly fifty and had never had a mature apartment to call her own. “It’s not that I lived in dumps,” she says. “It just was never a priority.”

When the show ended, however, it conveniently became one. She fell in love with a Park Avenue building built in 1929 by Emery Roth, instantly smitten with the lobby’s long, mirrored walls, high ceilings, and marble floors. It was, she recalls, like “a mini-Versailles.” But the apartment itself—a spacious, if walled-in, two-bedroom—was trapped somewhere in the 70s.

She called her friend, Manhattan-based interior designer Tony Ingrao. Over drinks at Le Bilboquet, Ingrao sketched out potential plans on a napkin: expand the entryway, create a formal dining room, raise the low ceilings. “Spacious enough for big parties,” says Ingrao, “but still intimate and comfortable for when she was alone.” His approach was a contemporary classical design to incorporate ornate moldings, marble flooring, and period furniture with modern touches, like hidden fixtures in the kitchen and bedrooms and sexy, colorful art.

“I wanted things to look very authentic,” says Cattrall, “but I also wanted the advantage of sleekness and modern design.”

It took about a year for Ingrao’s team to tackle the structural changes, while he and Cattrall got to work on the interiors. “The inspiration was old Hollywood glamour,” says Ingrao. “A little bit of a fantasy, with soft, frosty colors and overall elegant feel.” Together, they traveled throughout Europe visiting art galleries and antiques dealers—Guinevere in London, the flea markets of Paris, and stops in Italy and Austria. At home in New York, Cattrall found herself in bidding wars at Christie’s and Sotheby’s. “Before this, I had understood fashion as art, but furniture was more functional to me,” she says. “I came to see these pieces as art, too. It gave me so much pleasure to bring such history and dimension to my living space.”

She points to the living room chandelier, a Paris flea market find. “When I first saw that hanging in a stall, it was completed tarnished and the glass was all marked up,” she says. “I said, I just can’t see that in my beautiful new apartment. But Tony said, don’t worry. We have people who can bring that back to life.” Which is precisely what Cattrall felt she was doing for the space—and, in a way, what it was doing for herself.

As a nod to their friendship and collaboration, she and Ingrao came up with the idea to turn the second bedroom into “the monkey room.” They were both born in 1956, the year of the monkey. Green marble, dark wood, and lots of monkey accents provide a masculine contrast to the overt femininity of the rest of the space. A trip to Pompeii inspired the idea of a giant monkey fresco, but when the artist, muralist Glenn Palmer-Smith, presented his sketches, Cattrall decided they were too beautiful to be considered simply rough-drafts. So she scrapped the fresco and framed them instead.

Around this time, she had started working on 2005’s Kim Cattrall: Sexual Intelligence, a documentary history of sexual desire and her first project as a producer. The rest of her selection in her apartment feels the influence of this, from the pop art nude by British artist Natasha Law (Jude’s sister) in the living room to the black and white nude in the bedroom that she found an Austrian hipster bar.

Now, only a single item remains from Cattrall’s previous home life—a Fortuny lampshade in the guest bathroom. Everything else went to charity. “Sometimes, still, I’ll look at a piece here and marvel at the amount of work that went into it,” she says. “To look at all these beautiful things in my home and realize they reflect, in a positive way, where I am and what I’ve accomplished, and have been able to create alongside someone as talented as Tony. What a gift it was to give myself.


Originally sourced from The Property Addict


A skyscraper that dispenses houses is the vending machine you thought you’d never need


A conceptual skyscraper in Tokyo will give you the option of living in an apartment that can be manufactured on the spot and then wedged into the building, ready for occupancy.

The larger-than-life house dispenser, dubbed the Pod Vending Machine, works with a 3D printer on top that builds the modular homes on-site. Mobile cranes and mechanical arms transport the pods below and plug them into a vast, frame-like megastructure.

Designed by Haseef Rafiei, a Malaysian architect based in Manchester, the project won an honorable mention at the 2017 Skyscraper Competition by eVolo Magazine.

The building is designed to be in a constant state of construction, with the printer rising in height as demand for the pods increases. Building materials are sent skywards via a hydraulic system flanking the building. Nothing is left to waste, with disused pods ultimately recycled by the printer.

The pods are not designed to be cookie-cutter, however. Orders can be personalised, in that amenity pods, e.g. toilets and kitchens, can be installed and taken out as you please. Conversely, you can buy more pods to expand an existing one. You also have the option to simply rent a pod or use it for commercial purposes.

The skyscraper is designed in the spirit of “wabi-sabi,” the traditional Japanese notion of letting something remain incomplete over time. The designer also recognizes the environmental conundrum posed by abandoned building projects in Japan, hence a project that aims to close the loop in construction wastage.


Originally sourced from The MP Report


Feature Properties


Sales Feature Property - The Ikon, Potts Point


The crowning glory of the internationally acclaimed Ikon, this two-storey penthouse is undoubtedly one of Potts Point's most spectacular addresses. In a class of its own, the apartment's exceptional layout, panoramic harbour views from level 18 -19 and custom interiors offer the ultimate city residence in at the epicentre of Potts Point's fashionable urban village. Interiors by a celebrated Australian designer are tailored to perfection and feature only the finest fixtures and finishes while its house-like layout features two expansive levels opening to harbour-view terraces. Entertain on both a grand and intimate scale against a breathtaking backdrop with views that stretch over the harbour and boat-filled bays to Manly and the ocean horizon.


For further information please contact Clint Ballard on 0411 426 600 or Patrick o'Brien on 0439 025 188.



Sales Feature Property– 15 Greenknowe Avenue, Elizabeth Bay


Taking design cues from a classic New York brownstone, this elegant north facing end-terrace has been expertly crafted to offer the ultimate in urbane city living. Facing north and crowned with a private rooftop garden and entertainer’s terrace, the impeccably appointed home spans four levels of designer luxury with direct internal access to a lock-up garage. In a fashionable urban village setting, 100m to Macleay Street’s cosmopolitan retail and dining hub, this sophisticated city residence is a breezy stroll to harbour parkland and renowned waterfront dining and less than 2km to the CBD.


For further information, please contact Patrick O’Brien on 0439 025 188 or Clint Ballard on 0411 426 600.



Rental Feature Property – 247 Underwood Street, Paddington


Distinctive design and impeccable finishes provide the ultimate family living at this spacious three-level home reinvented by celebrated architect Luigi Rosselli. Perfectly positioned at the border of Paddington and Woollahra, it is a short walk from Queen Street village and Paddington’s restaurants, pubs, wine bars, schools and shops.

Rent per week: $4,200


For further information, please contact Helena Colnaric on 0418 808 778.

Company News


Ballard Property would like to welcome two new staff members joining our team!

Romy L'Estrange has joined the Property Management Department as the Leasing Consultant. Romy has been in the industry for over a year and is a well respected Leasing Consultant focused on getting the very best results for her clients.

James Perlowski is the newest member to our Sales Department. James' role is Sales Associate on the Mark Lowe Team. After almost 2 years in the industry, James has a great understanding of the market.

We would like to offer them our warmest welcome and look forward to many successful years ahead with Ballard!


Local Events


Rose Bay Farmers Market by Cambridge Markets


These markets will provide products with options like vegan, gluten-free, organic and homemade goods that are delicious!

The markets will be held every Tuesday from 8am – 2pm.