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- David Prior bought his Toorak mansion for $23.3 million.
- He has listed it for sale with a price guide of $46 million to $50 million.
- A handful of other Toorak trophy homes have been listed publicly this year.
Former yoghurt mogul David Prior has listed his grand Toorak home for sale with a price guide of $46 million to $50 million.
The stylish listing marks a more conventional sales campaign than its controversial neighbour, a valuable empty block of land that was once a much-loved mansion.
At one of Melbourne’s best addresses, 14 St Georges Road comes with five bedrooms, a swimming pool, tennis court and Paul Bangay gardens set on more than 2900 square metres.
The boulevard is considered Melbourne’s most sought-after, alongside Albany Road, and holds the house price record for the Victorian capital since crypto king Ed Craven paid more than $80 million for a knockdown on the other side of the street last year.
High-profile sales there include Prior’s neighbour Xiaoyan “Kylie” Bao, who paid $18.58 million for 16 St Georges Road in 2013, then applied to council for a permit to knock it down and demolished the house, prompting fury from locals. The City of Stonnington had made a bid for heritage protection that was rejected.
Bao put the empty land up for sale in 2019 with an asking price of $40 million to $44 million. At the time, Stonnington council said it had no authority to prevent blocks from sitting vacant.
Another headline-making neighbour paid $38 million for a fire-damaged house at 18 St Georges Road in 2017.
And 20 St Georges Road was the site of Melbourne’s first million-dollar sale when it traded for $1.01 million in 1980. The block was later subdivided and the original house was demolished, but its replacement sold this year for a reported $23 million.
Prior, who sold his yoghurt business five:am for $80 million to British consumer products company PZ Cussons, bought his Toorak mansion Karum for $23.3 million in 2014 from restaurateur Chris Lucas.
Like many homes in the exclusive suburb, it has previously been available off-market for the right buyer.
The residence comes with a swimming pool and tennis court.Credit: Kay & Burton
Prior now owns Bladnoch Distillery in Scotland and his increased commitments at the whisky business have prompted the decision to sell.
The residence is now listed with Kay & Burton managing director Ross Savas and Kay & Burton partner Jamie Mi.
Mi said the location and land size made it stand out, adding the style of the property – Mediterranean Georgian Revival, designed by AJ Ainslie in 1929 – was not typical of Toorak homes.
“If you have to compare that home with any home overseas, it is a very unique property,” she said. “It has an international feeling to it.”
David Prior owns a whisky distillery in Scotland.Credit: Kay & Burton
She said the generational residence would suit a family home buyer.
In the Toorak market more broadly, stock levels are good this spring, she said, but there would only be a few trophy homes of $40 million-plus available this year.
Speaking from a visit to China, she said more international buyers were likely to come to Australia this spring to buy property.
Prestige buyer’s agent David Morrell said the Toorak market had matured and buyers were now willing to spend as much as $80 million or $100 million on the right home.
The residence comes with indoor and outdoor entertaining spaces.Credit: Kay & Burton
“We have seen more trophy homes hit the open market than we’ve seen in years,” he said, citing the campaigns to sell the late Ron Walker’s grand home on Albany Road with a guide of $55 million to $60 million, the late David Hains’ estate asking $39 million to $42.5 million and a Clendon Road pile that asked $42 million to $46 million.
As for the price guide for the latest trophy offering, Morrell said it was “ambitious”.
But on the other hand, he cited the $80 million knockdown across the road.
“There’s evidence that people will pay that sort of money,” he said.
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