Cash splashes to bargains: Australia’s cheapest and most expensive properties of 2020

Sydney properties

What a year 2020 has been for Australia’s property market. As COVID-19 left no corner of life untouched, we saw home loan interest rates fall to new historic lows, clearance rates in many of our capital cities dip, and housing prices follow a similar downward trend. 

But the property market has proven surprisingly resilient. According to the latest CoreLogic figures, November is the second consecutive month that dwelling values have risen, following a pandemic-induced drop of 2.1% between April and September.

CoreLogic said the recovery has been largely propped up by monetary policy and fiscal policy support, as well as growing consumer confidence and signs that the economy is bouncing back. 

So amid all the ups and downs, just how much have properties across Australia actually been costing homebuyers? On the one hand, some of our wealthiest made headlines for spending exorbitant amounts on houses located in Australia’s most exclusive postcodes, while on the other hand, there was a real appetite for regional and rural bargains. 

So to give you a snapshot of properties at both ends, we’ve compiled a list of some of the cheapest and most expensive homes that buyers snapped up over 2020: 

Most expensive homes of 2020

While many high-end homeowners held back on selling their mansions in the wake of COVID-19, that didn’t stop a stream of trophy home sales trickling in throughout 2020, particularly in eastern Sydney.

‘Edgewater’, Point Piper, NSW: $95 million

This could well be the second most expensive home ever sold in Australia, topped only by Point Piper’s nearby ‘Fairwater’ estate which went for $100 million in 2018. Co-founders of the Katies women’s clothing chain, Joe Brender and the late Sam Moss, sold the property on the quiet in September this year, with Chinese businessman “John” Changjin Li widely understood to be the mystery buyer of the two-apartment residence.

Coolong Road, Vaucluse, NSW: $34 million

In the neighbouring blue-ribbon suburb of Vaucluse, another property also made the news as one of this year’s biggest sales. Stockbroker Robert Fiani bought the seven-bedroom, eight-bathroom residence - complete with a tennis court, jetty, boathouse and waterfront-facing pool - at private tender in August for $34 million. The sale ends 34 years of ownership by Vass Electrical Industries founder Nicholas Vass and his wife Marion, who purchased the property in 1986 for $3.7 million. 

‘Berthong’, Billyard Avenue, Elizabeth Bay, NSW: $33.5 million 

Just a 16-minute drive from Vaucluse, keys were passed onto a new owner for an Elizabeth Bay residence that once belonged to the Murdoch family as well as actor Russell Crowe. Retired car dealer Laurie Sutton snapped up the five-bedroom, six-bathroom historic villa for $33.5 million in March, four years after it was first listed at $35 million by lawyer Peter Ziegler and his wife Andrea. 

Lindsay Avenue, Darling Point, NSW: $32 million 

Laurie Sutton makes our list again, this time as the vendor of his trophy home in Darling Point, which he sold for $32 million in August this year after he had bought the property back in 2007 for a then-suburb record of $18.5 million. The five-bedroom, seven-bathroom residence holds the prestige of being one of only four properties on Lindsay Avenue.

89 Watkins Road, Dalkeith, WA: $27.5 million 

Moving away from Sydney’s eastern suburbs to the more unassuming housing market of Perth, a mystery buyer swooped in on one of the most luxurious homes in the area. According to property data, the waterfront estate located on Swan River was sold this September for $27.5 million after its asking price was heavily reduced earlier in the year.

Cheapest homes of 2020

First home buyers in major capital cities like Sydney and Melbourne may be shocked to discover their 20% house deposit would be enough to pay for some of the cheapest properties across the country.  

19 Main Street, Port Victoria, SA: $24,500 

Two-bedroom homes rarely get cheaper than this. At the height of the pandemic in May, one lucky buyer snagged a property in Port Victoria for a jaw-droppingly low $24,500. But where exactly is Port Victoria, you may ask? It’s a town of 345 people over on the Yorke Peninsula, roughly 113km northwest from Adelaide. 

Doolette Street, Kambalda East, WA: $30,000 

The bargains of 2020 continue as we pan to Western Australia. In August, a series of two-bedroom, one-bathroom units on Doolette Street in the small mining town of Kambalda (56km from Kalgoorlie) were sold for $30,000 each, according to 

13 Gum Tree Ave, Bouldercombe, QLD: $31,000

Going east to the sunshine state, one buyer paid just $31,000 for a four-bedroom, two-bathroom home. The property is said to be situated a short walking distance from local facilities, with built-in wardrobes in each bedroom and enough space to fit five cars. But you would have needed to reside in the rural town of Bouldercombe (in the Rockhampton Region) to have taken advantage of this discount.

7 South Road, Broken Hill, NSW: $37,000

As any real estate enthusiast may know, Broken Hill is known for offering some seriously cheap properties in NSW. This year is no exception, with the latest Domain House Price Report revealing median house prices there sit as low as $145,500. While it could do with some ‘touching up’, the three-bedroom bungalow on South Road in Broken Hill was sold for even less in September - $37,000 according to 

13 Brunello Street, Cessnock, NSW: $43,000

If you’re one of the many Australians seeking a ‘tree change’ amid working from home arrangements, then you'll be pleased to know homes like this are up for sale. property data shows the four-bedroom house, located at the heart of wine country, was purchased just last month via private treaty for $43,000. 

RELATED: What a 20% home deposit looks like in your dream suburb

So whether you’re on the hunt for a luxurious house or a regional retreat, if 2021 is the year you’re set on climbing the property ladder, then you’ll need a home loan to help you secure your purchase.

Give yourself a head start by weighing up your options below, or jump on over to our home loans comparison table for even more offers from over 80 different lenders.

Home loan offers 2020 - last updated 28 February 2024

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