How They Closed It: Selling The Notable Estate Of A Prominent Melbourne Architect 

Owned by the late Melbourne architect Allan Powell for more than 30 years, the estate consists of three separate residences.

In luxury real estate, securing a prestigious listing can often appear to be an insurmountable task. Yet the real challenge often comes when you have to actually sell it. In the leafy streets of South Yarra, Melbourne, one real estate duo managed to draw so much intrigue that the estate sold in just four weeks to a buyer who wasn’t even house hunting. Here’s how they did it. 

The Who: Private Property Global’s Michael Gibson and Robert Fletcher are known for trading mansions and breaking records in the city’s most exclusive areas. The pair recently added another notch to their belt, selling a historic property in the Domain Precinct of South Yarra.     

French doors connect the courtyard and the kitchen. (Private Property Global)

The What: Featuring three separate residences in one sprawling estate, the property on Millswyn Street is considered a rare gem in one of Melbourne’s most elite inner city suburbs. The home’s Italianate gold exterior, sunny inner courtyard and cobblestone lane lend a European charm that differentiates it from others in the area. Owned by the late Melbourne architect Allan Powell for more than 30 years, the property consists of a main home on the ground floor and two self-contained apartments on the second.

Boasting a blue chip Botanic Garden address, the historic property was built in 1865. (Private Property Global)

The property was once rumored to have housed a Melbourne Cup-winning racehorse in the rear stables, which have now been converted to a three-car garage. In addition to five bedrooms, the home boasts 13-foot ceilings, a spiral staircase and original Victorian-era windows. 

The Where: Situated between the iconic Royal Botanic Gardens and sprawling Fawkner Park, the property is in a premium spot in South Yarra. The suburb, known for its proximity to upscale shopping, top-tier restaurants and elite schools, has seen a recent influx of high-density housing. That put this expansive property in a uniquely strong position and helped drive much of the interest, listing agent Fletcher says.

Marble fireplaces run throughout. (Private Property Global)

The How: When marketing a property of this caliber, the image chosen to run front and center on the listing page is crucial. For the team at Private Property Global, that meant highlighting the generous outdoor space offered by the welcoming inner garden. “That drew people’s attention,” Fletcher says. “You don’t generally have that much space around you in this position.”

The strategy worked, mobilizing 85 groups of people to tour the property, generating three interested parties and resulting in two serious bids. What was most interesting, Fletcher says, was that of the three interested parties, two of them had not been actively looking to buy. “This is the type of property that will pique people’s interest and drag them into the market,” he says. The home ultimately sold “in the upper end” of the guided range–around AUD 10.5 million (nearly US $7 million)–on the day expressions of interest were due. 

In the end, the property closed for AUD 10.5 million. (Private Property Global)

The Right Now: The quick sale underscores that there is consistent demand at the top end of the market in Melbourne. “It was a timely sale that took advantage of a segment of the market that is performing well,” Fletcher says. That performance is expected to continue in the new year, research shows. According to a recent Knight Frank forecasting report, Melbourne’s prime property prices are expected to grow 3% in the next year.


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