As the first chill winds of winter hit Sydney, the minds of our well-heeled citizenry often turn to the bucolic surrounds of Bowral, with chief among recent arrivals.
On Friday, the philanthropic couple settled on the Robertson weekender White Birch Farm, paying $6 million to investment banker Ray Shorrocks and his wife Stephanie Tetu.
The off-market purchase – through Christie’s James Hall, according to Instagram – comes at a momentous time for the Lavender Bay-based Petre, regarded as somewhat of a godfather of Sydney’s tech scene.
The former executive for Bill Gates and Kerry Packer recently announced his retirement from an operating role at Australia’s largest venture capital fund AirTree Ventures to focus on his philanthropic push among the rich-list set.
That sounds like something he can do from his newly purchased five-bedroom homestead surrounded by natural rainforest and landscaped garden, with an artist’s studio where John Olsen painted his mural The King Sun. When not at his long-held North Avoca beachfront getaway, that is.
Bergers Bowral bound
Commercial property boss Joshua Berger and his wife Michelle might just be one of the few remaining eastern suburbs couples who don’t own a Southern Highlands weekender, but fortunately that oversight has been rectified with their own $6 million purchase.
The family’s new getaway is The Bails at Kangaloon, recently sold by Christie’s James Hall for $6 million on behalf of wine merchant John Baker, author of Stalin’s Wine Cellar.
It seems a virtual wormhole has opened up between the eastern suburbs and the Highlands since COVID-19 arrived. Joining the Bergers down south is Vaucluse’s Marco Belgiorno-Zegna, of the wealthy Transfield Holdings family. He has bought the Oakvale property in Mittagong for almost $3. 5 million.
Likewise, Gemma Salteri, daughter of billionaires Paul and Sandra Salteri, has paid $4. 5 million for a Sutton Forest retreat.
Fordham’s family upgrade
Celebrity agent Nick Fordham is being touted as the recent buyer – for almost $15 million – of Woollahra’s historic Spicer House, from former PWC partner Greg Hall and his wife Jody.
PPD’s Alexander Phillips declined to comment on the rumour, leaving it to well-placed sources to reveal his purchase of the historic 1886 residence, which will make the media powerbroker a director neighbour to his mum Veronica.
Fordham is the brother of 2GB’s Ben Fordham and heads up The Fordham Company that was founded by his dad John Fordham, who died in 2019.
Spicer House was previously owned by mining heiress Sarah Louise Fudge, until she sold it to the Halls in 2015 for $5. 5 million following her engagement to Hollywood actor Mark Sheppard and subsequent move to LA.
From horse breeder to racing royalty
The Point Piper home of Mary Ingham, part of the chicken breeding and horse racing family empire, has sold to an expat sight-unseen for $12. 04 million.
This is the designer three-level residence that Ingham bought 12 years ago for $5. 7 million from horse breeder Warwick Miller, who copped a loss on his three-year ownership.
Miller, who made his money in watch manufacturing in Hong Kong, had paid $6. 55 million for it in 2007 when he was trading down from his waterfront trophy home Routala, sold for a then national house price record of $28. 7 million.
No sign where to next for Ingham, although her daughter, shoe designer Tamie Ingham sold her Elizabeth Bay pad last year for $7. 5 million, making a 150 per cent gain since she bought it in 2010.
Kirribilli’s big deal
Car dealer Phil Gilbert has traded in his Milsons Point apartment to buy a waterfront sub-penthouse in the Kirribilli Grande for $13. 5 million.
The Kirribilli pad is set in the landmark building that was developed as a joint venture between the bookmaking Waterhouse family and late Macau billionaire Stanley Ho, and sets an apartment record for the suburb.
It was sold by Heather Hayes, wife of corporate bigwig Greg Hayes, making a big gain on the $7. 65 million they paid for it in 2016.
Given the off-market nature of the deal the agent remains unknown, but it was likely Di Jones’ Nigel Mukhi given he sold Gilbert’s apartment in Mirvac’s Cavill building for $7. 8 million.