Prominent corporate lawyer John Landerer and his wife Michelle have staked a place in Sydney’s trophy-home record books after their Vaucluse mansion sold for more than $62 million, making it the sixth most expensive house in the country.
The exact sale price will be left to settlement, but sources confirm the property sold in recent days for more than the $60 million asking price and after almost three years on the market.
At that price, the sale ranks among Sydney’s top 6 house sales and becomes the second most expensive non-waterfront house in the country.
The most expensive non-waterfront house sale is next door to the Landerer home and is known as La Mer, which was built on a consolidation of three houses by James Packer and sold for $70 million in 2015 to Chinese-Australian businessman Chau Chak Wing.
The Landerers’ landmark home, known as Ganeden, is also built on a consolidated site from three houses set between Wentworth Road and Vaucluse Road, and designed by architect Stephen Gergely with interiors by the late Frank Grill.
Title records are yet to reveal the buyer, and there was no comment from Mr Landerer, a one-time Kerry Packer confidant whose client list reads like a who’s who of corporate Australia.
However, sources say the buyer hails from China and has been circling the property for more than a year.
The Landerers bought the first of three properties on which Ganeden is built in 1988, paying $5.2 million for the home of David and Agnes Ross, adding two houses next door in the mid-1990s.
A vast internal floor plan almost matches the total 2400 square metre land size and is more akin to a mini-resort than a house, given its seven bedrooms, 13 bathrooms, garaging for 20 cars, three kitchens, two internal lifts, a home cinema, gymnasium, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a separate function centre and gardens by landscape designer Paul Bangay.
In 2016, three years before the property was formally offered to the market, Mr Landerer was offered $62 million for the property, but it didn’t exchange.
The property remains online, but was sold by an agent who was not advertising it.
Australia’s most expensive house sale is the $100 million Point Piper estate Fairwater, sold in 2018 by the Fairfax family to Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes.
The second most expensive house, sold in 2020 for $95 million, is the Point Piper mansion Edgewater, long owned by co-founders of Katies women’s clothing retail chain Joe Brender and his wife Gerda, and the family of his late business partner Sam Moss.
It was bought by gold mining businessman John Li, who is yet to settle on the purchase but is in control of a recently formed corporate entity, Point Piper One, that is registered to that address.
Point Piper is also home to the $71 million waterfront estate Elaine, sold to the other Atlassian co-founder Scott Farquhar in 2017.
The Vaucluse waterfront residence Phoenix Acres also sold in 2017, when hotel tycoon Dr Jerry Schwartz bought it from Singaporean tycoon Chio Kiat Ow.
Sydney’s trophy-home market has had a late start to the year, given a dearth of top-end listings. Prestige agents claim to have no shortage of buyers in the $40 million-plus range, but few houses to offer.
Following the sale of Ganeden, the most expensive house currently advertised for sale is the Southern Shire residence known as Nautilus, owned by entrepreneur Steve Shelley, which is on offer for more than $50 million.
This story has been updated to include the sale of Phoenix Acres.