Australia’s residential real estate market is so hot it’s probably the one country that gets more predictions of a housing bubble than Canada.
So hot, in fact, that the Canadian government stands to make a pretty hefty profit on its consul-general’s residence in Sydney.
The house in the oceanside neighbourhood of Vaucluse has been in the hands of Canada’s federal government since 1964, when it purchased the property for 35,000 British pounds, according to Australian property site Domain.
Today the property is on sale for $9.5 million Australian, or just over $9 million Canadian. Translated into British pounds, that’s 4.46 million GBP, or 127 times the nominal price paid 51 years ago.
Adjusting for inflation, the government would earn 7.4 times what it paid for the property in the 60s. (The purchase price of 35,000 GBP would be 605,000 GBP in today’s currency. That's a lot of inflation, Britain!)
Built in 1926, the six-bedroom house served as the home of the Canadian consul-general in Sydney. It has four-and-a-half baths, parking for four vehicles and features amenities like a maid’s quarters and an inground pool, according to the realtor's listing.
It also has a lighthouse from 1881 on the property, not to mention excellent views of world-famous Sydney Harbour.
The Harper government launched an effort several years ago to sell off diplomatic properties around the world, in order to raise revenue to balance the budget.
With property prices on the upswing in many countries in recent years, including the U.S. and U.K., the federal government has been making a killing on some of these sales.
The official residence of Canada’s consul-general in Miami went on sale last year for $5.5 million, nearly three times the $1.9 million Canada had paid for it in 2009.
And in 2013 the federal government sold One Grosvenor Square, part of the home of the Canadian High Commission in London, for $530 million.
The listing agent for the Canadian house in Sydney says it makes sense for governments to sell assets when prices are this high.
“The lifestyle has changed. Fifty years ago people did a lot more entertaining inside with events. Governments are now spending less time entertaining at their consular premises,” he told the Sydney Daily Telegraph.
“Maintenance is a big factor as well. It makes sense for them to have a low-maintenance house where the interiors are a bit more modern.”
Check out more pics of the house, below.