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Epic dream homes and budget buys top list of Australia's most popular properties

The cost-of-living crisis hasn’t stopped Australians from dreaming about living in the most luxurious and expensive homes on the market.

Epic dream homes and budget buys top list of Australia's most popular properties

02 July 2024

The cost-of-living crisis hasn’t stopped Australians from dreaming about living in the most luxurious and expensive homes on the market, but high interest rates have pushed more property seekers towards unique and affordable properties offering unreal value.

New data has revealed the most popular properties on over the past year, with the most-viewed listings earning more than 100,000 visits.

Opulent mansions, sprawling estates, quirky homes and affordable units were among the most viewed properties on in the past 12 months, the data shows.

These homes reflect not only Australians’ obsession with high-end real estate, but also the affordability challenges facing the housing market, with many low-priced homes ranking highly.

PropTrack senior economist Eleanor Creagh said the listings with the most views highlighted a widespread fascination with exploring dream homes, even if most people would never set foot in these properties.

"People often indulge in browsing listings of luxury properties or homes with unique and captivating features, such as expansive gardens, swimming pools, or distinctive architectural designs," she said.

"These listings, showcasing properties of grandeur or with peculiar characteristics, tend to capture the public's imagination, leading them to accumulate a significant number of views.”

“Many are the sort of homes most people can only really dream about. The listings give us a sneak peek inside, showcasing fascinating features.”

Luxury listings earn hundreds of thousands of views

Topping the list of most popular properties around the country was a moody matte-black mansion set on a two-hectare estate in Chandler in Brisbane’s east, which garnered more than 180,000 views.

The 1,559sqm, six-bedroom house was inspired by Queenstown villas and African safari lodges, and features a billiards room with cocktail bar, cinema, basketball court, archery range, and a gym on a manicured five-acre block.

598 London Road, Chandler was the most viewed property on in the past year. Picture:

In Melbourne, the most viewed property was a 10-bedroom stately home in Toorak’s priciest pocket.  Described as the “prettiest house in Toorak”, the property that belonged to late billionaire David Hains just sold for about $40 million.

35-39 Albany Rd, Toorak was viewed more than 112,000 times before selling this month. Picture:

It spent a year on the market, earning 112,000 views from people curious to see what was behind its ivy-covered walls.  It wasn’t the only home in Melbourne’s most expensive suburb to make the top 10. An epic concrete castle resembling the Hanging Gardens of Babylon belonging to Stereosonic co-founder Richie McNeill attracted almost 94,000 views.

108 St Georges Road, Toorak was built in 1965 on one of Toorak's few waterfront blocks. It's current owners have undertaken significant renovations. Picture:

Sales agent Justin Long of Marshall White Stonnington said the enchanting exterior of the $23 million mansion — one of only 23 riverfront homes in the exclusive suburb — fascinated property watchers.

The six-bedroom home features a pool longe complete with sauna. Picture:

“Its lead shot is one of the loveliest exteriors I’ve had of any properly,” he said. “It has the sense of a fabulous Hollywood Hills home. It really invites people to explore more about it.”

In Sydney, a brand new luxury waterfront house in Darling Point had more views than any other home, and with the world’s most beautiful harbour literally in your backyard, it’s not hard to see why.

The newly-constructed property takes full advantage of its incredible position on Sydney Harbour. Picture:

Almost 100,000 property-watchers clicked into the listing, no doubt imagining themselves relaxing by the pool under the frangipani trees as the sun went down over the Sydney Harbour Bridge, wishing they had the $70 million required to buy the home.

The $70 million home is owned by tech entrepreneur Patrick Gove. Picture:

While all the homes with the most views had eye-watering price tags, the style of properties varied wildly.  A flashy 14-bedroom riverfront compound built across a huge amalgamated block had more views than any other Gold Coast property.
The iconic Candy Shop Mansion is one of the largest homes on the Gold Coast, and was viewed more than 80,000 times. Picture:

Known as the Candy Shop Mansion, the eclectic 2230sqm house on a 1.4 acre block was infamous for the raucous parties attended by thousands that were thrown by owner and local business identity Travers Beynon, according to sales agent Evan Molloy.

"This home is a Gold Coast icon," he said. "Naturally people want to know more so there is definitely a curiosity about what lays behind those gilded gates."

The riverfront property features two residences, a giant pool with spa and grotto, and a red leather clad cinema. Picture:

“Competition for these hyper prestige homes is substantial. The appetite for the upper end of the prestige market is very good.”  An enormous modernist estate on Brisbane’s outskirts had offers from professional athletes and wealthy families with luxury car collections, according to agent Simon Caulfield of Place Estate Agents.
41 Lisk Street, Pullenvale features horse paddocks and stables, a tennis court and parking for eight cars on a four hectare block. Picture:

Rich buyers with big budgets were drawn to the high quality build, he said, with demand surging for immaculate turnkey properties amid high construction costs.

“There’s been a lot more equity that has been released in the market and with interest rates being stable people are more willing to spend money.”
The upper level bedrooms overlook the 15-metre lap pool and feature city views. Picture:

Ms Creagh said the market for pricey real estate was still strong, despite high interest rates putting a dent in typical homebuyers’ budgets.  "The top end of the market has remained resilient over the past year, especially in light of interest rates having risen substantially, likely reflecting home equity gains of recent years which have made some more resilient to the impact of rising interest rates," she said.
2 Yarra Grove, Hawthorn was the sixth most viewed listing in Australia in the past year. It sold for more than $21 million in June 2023. Picture:

Prestige properties are often on the market for longer than typical homes given the more limited pool of buyers with the budget to afford such pricey real estate, Mr Long said, which allowed more time to rack up views.

"The high end is a market unto itself," he said. "It’s very well sought after but it just sometimes takes a little while to find your absolute best buyer."
"You have to be patient to find the person that really resonates with each property."

Aspirational and achievable apartments attract attention

Houses dominated the list of the most viewed properties, but the trend towards high-end homes was evident in the apartment market too, with a luxury penthouse in Brisbane, an opulent 1896sqm two-floor apartment in Perth and a lavish “sky home” in Sydney’s tallest building viewed tens of thousands of times.

The 891sqm penthouse occupying the 21st floor of the Emporium Hotel at Brisbane's South Bank has a $30 million price tag. Picture:

However, while the majority of properties had price tags out of reach of most buyers, a handful of apartments with more affordable price tags proved popular with property watchers.

A waterfront Fremantle unit with a price tag of just $465,000 was the one of Western Australia’s most popular properties, along with the apartment next door which just sold for an affordable $289,000. 

56/43 Mews Road, Fremantle is on the market for just $465,000, but there's a catch - it's for short-term stays only. Picture:

Sydney’s second-most viewed unit was a humble two-bedroom apartment in Dee Why just a short stroll from the beach, which sold for $833,000 last month.

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5/56 Pacific Parade, Dee Why had more than 30,000 views in the past year. Picture:

It was closely followed by a 47sqm Surry Hills studio with parking that offered an affordable yet compact entry point to the coveted inner city market, selling for $530,000 last month.
A studio apartment in this Surry Hills block was one of Sydney's most-viewed units, with its affordable price point playing a part – it sold for $530,000 in February. Picture:

In Melbourne the city’s third-most viewed unit was a unique three-bedroom Richmond apartment built into a warehouse which featured a one-of-a-kind extension on top of the building, complete with roof terrace and views of iconic laneway murals.
More than 31,000 people clicked on the listing for this unusual Richmond apartment. Picture:

Bargain-hunters target affordable properties

Many cheap homes and properties offering good value for money caught the attention of property seekers, with plenty of properties priced below the median value of their city earning tens of thousands of views.

An absolutely trashed rental property in Brisbane’s south that went to auction without a reserve and sold for just under $500,000 had almost 50,000 views, with 160 people turning up to the auction in the hopes of grabbing a bargain.
19 Billabong Drive, Crestmead had been severely damaged by previous tenants, and its dilapidated state caught the attention of thousands of bargain-hunters. Picture:

On Sydney's outskirts, a one-bedroom riverfront house surrounded by bushland had more than 33,000 views, with an asking price of $490,000 – unheard of for a freestanding house in the Sydney region.
Immersed in nature, this affordable home at Spencer on the Hawkesbury River is one of only a handful of freestanding houses in the Greater Sydney region priced under $500,000. Picture:

Meanwhile, a Frankston unit just a five-minute walk from the beach had almost 29,000 views, with homebuyers no doubt drawn to its $200,000 to $220,000 price tag.
This two-bedroom Frankston apartment is one of the cheapest in Melbourne, gaining the attention of bargain hunters. Picture:

One of Melbourne's most viewed, yet affordable properties was a freestanding dual occupancy unit in Mill Park, which, despite its "severely compromised" structure, sold for $392,500 in January.

More than 27,000 people viewed this property in Mill Park, which the listing suggested should be demolished. Picture:

Buyers have increasingly targeted affordable properties since interest rates began rising in 2022, with higher demand pushing up prices, Ms Creagh said.  "Relatively affordable regions have seen strong growth as interest rates continued to rise and housing affordability has remained at multi-decade lows, buoying buyer demand in these places," she said.

Quirky homes generate huge amounts of interest

Meanwhile, unique properties also caught the eye of property browsers, including a retro retreat in the Dandenong Ranges featuring an indoor pool fed by a mountain spring, which was viewed more than 70,000 times.
A stone-clad indoor pool forms the centrepiece of this retro Olinda property, which also features a spring water bore and redwood forrest.

A boutique holiday rental in the Gold Coast hinterland described as “a heavenly haven for honeymooners” had almost as many people clicking to see more.
This cute church-inspired cottage used as a holiday let is priced at $445,000. Picture:

A lush off-grid rainforest property within a cooperative outside Mullimbimby had more 40,000 views, with the affordable $695,000 price tag appealing to tree-changers seeking an escape from the rat race.
This five-acre Mullumbimby property is would make the ultimate escape from the city for about the cost of a city apartment. Picture:

Other unique properties with high numbers of views included an earth home buried into a hillside featured on Grand Designs Australia and an old Tasmanian church complete with stained glass windows.


This article was originally published on Epic dream homes and budget buys top list of Australia's most popular properties