Observing obscenely expensive houses disappearing from the market is a truly bizarre phenomenon. We sit and we read and we shake our heads in disbelief at the sums some people are willing to part with in order to live in fleeting luxury.
Most of us don’t even want such a house. None of us actually need it. Imagine cleaning a gazillion French windows and vacuuming a surface area large enough to host the Ashes. No thanks. Houses like these exist to serve a singular purpose: to be a symbol of the accumulation and extravagance of immense wealth, something only a handful of us possess.
And yet these homes sold like gold-trimmed hotcakes last year, with the most expensive house along Jutland Parade in Dalkeith fetching $14.3m - a perplexing amount, considering the building looks like something out of a 1980s gangster movie. Side note: proof of wealth is not proof of taste.
The suburb of Dalkeith proved to be the most expensive area of Perth for 2016, providing four of the top ten houses to drop off the super-rich market. Claremont, Mosman Park, Applecross, Peppermint Grove, and Cottesloe filled in the remaining slots, with the Cottesloe house, 13 Pearse Street, selling twice in the span of 12 months. This is even more baffling than the Scarface transaction, since the house is not so much a house as it is a cottage, boasting just one bathroom and very questionable wall stability. Rumours have circulated of the billionaire owner planning to redevelop it into a luxury estate, having already purchased the adjacent plot.
So we continue to monitor the movements of the wealthy, fruitlessly stepping into their virtual shoes and walking around their beautiful homes as if they were ours. It will only be a matter of time before these sprawling objects of desire re-enter the real estate market, make headlines, ensnare our attention once again and make off with someone else’s cash. For most of us, the thrill is not in charting these recycling sales, but in living out the fantasy of another’s reality.