Software Billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes Just Bought Australia's Most Expensive House



  • Australia’s most expensive home, Fairwater, sells for “close to $100 million”
  • Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes and wife confirmed as buyers
  • Property next door was bought by fellow Atlassian co-founder Scott Farquhar for more than $70 million

Lady Fairfax’s historic Sydney Harbor estate has sold, ending the Fairfax family’s hold on the property of more than a century.

Tech rich-lister Mike Cannon-Brookes, who with best friend Scott Farquhar, founded software giant Atlassian has snapped up the property with his wife Annie, becoming neighbours with Mr Farquhar who purchased neighbouring Point Piper mansion ‘Elaine’ in May last year.  (Pictured Below)

Elaine – work in progress. Image courtesy of Ken Jacobs

“We are delighted with the purchase of Fairwater for our young family and look forward to continuing the legacy of this beautiful Sydney home,” Mike and Annie Cannon-Brookes said.

“We love the idea of raising our four young children in this historic property, filling the house and gardens with love and laughter through the years.”

With a price tag of $100 million, this dwarfs the previous highest price paid for an Australian property, which was $71 million for the property next door.

That would be Fairwater’s older sister “Elaine”. Also formerly owned by a Fairfax family member, John B. Fairfax. And bought by Cannon-Brooke’s fellow Atlassian co-founder, Scott Farquhar and his wife Kim Jackson.

Their purchase ended concerns that the 0.7ha property would be divided up into four separate developments.

Scott and Mike Atlassian
Mike Cannon-Brookes (right) has bought the most expensive property in Australia – Fairwater, with his fellow co-founder Scott Farquhar (left) living in the property next door – Elaine.
Courtesy Atlassian

Here is more about the property,  from an earlier article when Lady Fairfax died in last year….

There are few Australian trophy homes that are worth more than the Point Piper property Elaine that sold earlier this year for a record $71 million, but the Fairfax family’s Fairwater estate next door is certainly one of them.

Following her death at age 95, it remains to be confirmed if her beneficiaries plan to hold to that long-ago plan.

Fairwater and Elaine are significant landmarks not only because they are both set on two of the largest privately held harborfront holdings in Sydney’s most expensive suburb, but they have long stood as monuments to the newspaper dynasty that has owned them for more than a century.

Elaine was sold in April by John B Fairfax for $71 million to tech billionaire Scott Farquhar, ending 126 years of continuous Fairfax ownership.

Unlike Elaine, prestige agents say the heritage-listed Fairwater residence remains in far better condition and sits on a much larger parcel of about 8000 square metres, 14 per cent larger than next door.

Fairwater was built in 1882 for stockbroker Francis Edward Joseph after he bought the leasehold allotment from James White, of the pioneering Hunter Valley pastoralist family.

​The two-story blond-brick residence on Seven Shillings Beach was designed by leading architect of the day John Horbury Hunt, with additions in 1910 by Manson and Pickering architects in the Arts and Craft style with a series of projecting bay windows and balconies.

Fairwater, designed by architect John Horbury Hunt, pictured in 1920. Photo: Fairfax Media

​Records show that in late 1900, Sir James Oswald Fairfax paid 5350 pounds for the leasehold, and his son Sir Warwick Oswald Fairfax took sole possession of it in the 1960s, moving in permanently in 1968.

According to the NSW Government’s Office of Environment and Heritage, the Fairwater estate dates back to 1882 when a family of sailing merchants built the house.

It was then purchased by newspaper proprietor John Fairfax, whose family lived on the estate from 1901 and has remained in the family until this day.

Lady Fairfax gained the title of the home after her husband Sir Warwick Fairfax died in 1987.

Lady Fairfax had owned it since Sir Warwick died in 1987, the same year her son Warwick Fairfax privatized the publicly-listed media company only for it to collapse three years later.

The Fairwater estate includes a number of protected mature trees that date back more than a century, including a Bunya pine, Port Jackson figs and silky oaks.

Whether that value is ever tested on the market remains unknown because Lady (Mary) Fairfax had stated publicly that she planned to bequeath the estate to the people of New South Wales when she died.

Read and see more at…..
Software billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes just bought Australia’s most expensive home

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