‘Drummond’, a Newtown record-breaker when it sold for $2.615m back in May 2005, is now on the market asking for another record breaking amount: $3.35m; if listing agent Dale Whitford achieves his asking, it will become Greater Geelong’s most expensive house. The stately multi-coloured brick mansion comes with swimming pool, tennis court, and a prime Newtown location. Although, with seeing that Dale Whitford’s listing has been sitting on the market for several months, it may be a surprise if ‘Drummond’ achieves $3.35m, it will not be a surprise that Newtown holds the crown for Geelong’s most desirable real estate. Due in part to the industrial nature of Corio Bay, Newtown, which mostly sits at a slightly higher elevation than the Geelong CBD and South Geelong, quickly garnered Geelong’s first elaborate estates. At that time, development roughly followed the line of higher elevation which runs from Noble Street near The Geelong College to the northeast meeting the Princess Highway at Virginia Street, near today’s subject property above (see map below). These early estates continue to command some of Geelong’s highest prices: Miharo, a c1855 Victorian with extensive filigree work and an elegant 1890 extension, sold for $2.0m in 2008.
Geelong’s other prestige pockets have also not yet broken the elusive $3m home sale mark. Drumcondra, home to prestige bayfront boulevard The Esplanade, has only scored two home sales about $2m (numbers 25 and 29 on The Esplanade sold for $2.4m in 2005 and $2.5m in Jan 2010, respectively). Geelong CBD’s half-assed bayfront answer to The Esplanade, Eastern Beach Road, has only landed one sale above $2m: the colossal Corio Villa Estate traded hands for $2.6m in Apr 2004 and then became a wedding venue. And neither Highton nor Wandana Heights - Geelong’s pricier post-war developments higher in the hills above Newtown - have surpassed the $2m mark. The top-priced sale in the hills was for 110 Wandana Drive which scored $1.55m in exchange for an uncharacteristically large 2.5 acres (see image below).
If ‘Drummond’ is unsuccessful in becoming Geelong’s #1, The Radical Terrace has taken it upon ourself to select which other trophy Geelong properties would command a higher price. Here are our picks:
1. ‘Lunan’, 24 Lunan Avenue, Drumcondra, c1849. This heritage-listed mansion rests on a large parcel of land with uninterrupted Corio Bay views. We can’t find any pricing history. Estimated price if sold: $5m
2. ‘The Heights’, 140 Aphrasia Street, Newtown, c1854. It may be a National Trust property, but if it ever sold to a private owner, it could command anywhere from $4-$5m.
3. 15 Bent Street, Wandana Heights; Last sold as a block of land in the early 1990s, this modern home comes with a gated entry and a tree-lined driveway to a multi-winged estate with pool and tennis court. We bet someone would pick it up for $3.75m.
4. ‘The Row’, Numbers 143, 145, 147, and 195 Noble Street. Each home in this elegant row of Victorians (including the aforemention ‘Miharo’ at #145) could command prices from $2.5m - $4m range.
5. ‘Merchiston Hall’ 2A Garden St, Geelong. Fronting the Geelong Botanic Gardens and less than a block from Corio Bay, Merchiston Hall would likely sell well above the $3m mark.
The Unrated Sleeping Beauty. ‘Shouba’, 6A Keram Crescent, Highton. The Victorian villa sits on several acres of established gardens. Depending on its state of repair, anywhere from $1.5m - $4m