Melbourne’s seaside suburbs, leafy east and coolest inner-city postcodes have become magnets for celebrities, with famous faces regularly buying and selling in these appealing regions.
Hailed for their privacy, schools and lifestyle perks, the suburbs continue to draw in AFL stars to musicians and media personalities to business bigwigs.
The Herald Sun has uncovered the suburb hot spots where you’re most likely to run into a celebrity, from Brighton to Collingwood and in between.
The Mornington Peninsula has become a hot spot for the rich and famous, with its multimillion-dollar clifftop mansions attracting celebrities, business titans and sporting greats – who seldom ever part with their pricey pads.
Pop star Tones and I has become one of the area’s most notable purchasers, collecting two luxury Mt Eliza houses priced at $5.1m and $7.08m for her extensive property portfolio.
Australian cricket legend Shane Warne is building a slick $5m getaway in Portsea with plans for a bowling alley and games room on a block he bought for $3.6m in October last year.
Nearby, former Australian test cricket captain Ricky Ponting and wife Rianna splashed $3.51m on a luxury 1068sq m home away from home in 2019.
This year, Melbourne personality and Warne’s ex-wife Simone Callahan also snapped up an idyllic beachside abode in Somers.
Billionaire Lindsay Fox’s family compound – which the Linfox founder has been building for decades – spans several blocks, multiple houses, a stretch of sand on Portsea’s beachfront and has space for a helicopter.
Cricketer James Pattinson bought Bondi Sands tan founder Blair James’ Blairgowrie beauty for more than $2m earlier this year, and Melbourne skipper Max Gawn also made a recent sea change to the postcode.
Comedians like Ross Noble, who sold in Mt Eliza in 2009 for $2.725m to shift to a larger Peninsula property, and Andy Lee, whose St Andrews Beach property boasts an infinity pool and a golf simulator, have also favoured the region.
Peninsula Sotheby’s International Realty managing director Rob Curtain said “old Portsea” families like the Foxes were “part of the furniture” in the prestigious suburb. And while most resident celebs had frequented the region for years, others had been encouraged to buy since the pandemic began.
“Portsea is the Toorak of the Peninsula,” Mr Curtain added.
“But Covid has made the entire area more desirable. There’s a lot of generational wealth where people are buying with absolutely no plan of selling and prices are becoming secondary to trying to secure that lifestyle.”
He said Sorrento Hotel was the place to “bump into a celebrity”.
From the opulent mega-mansions of Brighton to the ocean views and beachy lifestyle of Sandringham, it’s no wonder the Bayside region is a hit with some of our biggest sports stars.
AFL royalty Chris and Bec Judd are Brighton’s most notable residents, purchasing a rundown Spanish colonial property for $7.3m in 2019 and transforming it into an ultra-luxurious home with a pool and a tennis court.
Former Hawthorn captain Shane Crawford recently listed his grand Victorian abode in the suburb with a $9m-$9.9m price guide, forgoing a 20m lap pool, tennis court and gym to move to NSW.
And Shane Warne and Simone Callahan called the suburb home for decades, moving between multimillion-dollar homes, including a bluestone mansion on Middle Crescent the spin king sold for $18,888,888 in 2018.
AFL players and coaches, including Alastair Clarkson, Paul Roos, Alex Rance and Jack Riewoldt, have also held property in Brighton, while Adam Treloar and Jarman Impey have roots in Highett and Brighton East respectively. Bulldogs AFLW coach Nathan Burke recently sold his family home in Sandringham.
Meanwhile champion netballer-turned-commentator Bianca Chatfield also bought by the sea this year, spending “a bit more” than the townhouse’s $1m-$1.1m price guide.
Veteran Channel 10 weatherman Mike Larkan has also lived in the area for 25 years.
Marshall White Bayside director Matthew Pillios said the star-studded ‘burbs were loved for their “extremely intimate” lifestyle.
“The privacy and safety are two key words I hear when dealing with high-profile clients,” Mr Pillios said.
“There are a lot of good sized blocks for people to have their own compounds and havens, they can be creative with tennis courts and basements and backyards. There’s room to enjoy with their kids and families … and it gives them that sense of community.”
Trendy inner suburbs
From Albert Park to Elwood, Richmond, St Kilda and Collingwood, it’s not uncommon to spot a high-profile personality dining at a cafe or walking along a beach in a trendy inner suburb.
Essendon legend Tim Watson recently sold his long-time residence in Albert Park for more than $3.3m while son Jobe has called nearby Middle Park home since 2018.
In St Kilda, Warnie and Sam Newman have a stake in the ritzy Saint Moritz apartment complex. That’s also where former Domain boss Antony Catalano purchased a glamorous penthouse for about $30m.
Jimmy and Nadia Bartel once walked the leafy streets of St Kilda West, before selling the family home on Mary St for $3.915m last year. Nadia now calls a $3.15m Prahran pad home.
Much-loved Aussie actor and artist power couple Asher Keddie and Vincent Fantauzzo sold in Elwood last year, banking about $2.795m for the Milton St pad.
Kath and Kim star Jane Turner pulled her Elwood mansion from the market, where it was listed for $7.3m-$8m, and decided to stay in the suburb amid the pandemic. Cricket young gun Will Pukovski and author Jane Harper also live in the postcode.
In nearby Richmond, Hamish Blake and wife Zoe Foster-Blake famously broke the suburb record when they traded in their Rowena Parade pad for $7.435m to move to Sydney.
Best mate and co-star Andy Lee also resides in a slick converted warehouse in the suburb.
Paralympic gold medallist Dylan Alcott bought his first home in Collingwood in 2018, for about $1.1m.
Melbourne’s business elite unsurprisingly favour Melbourne’s leafy inner east and southeast.
Kew is famously home to the Pratt family’s Raheen compound. But Toorak in particular is packed with wealth and fame, being home to the mansions of trucking magnate Lindsay Fox, property developer Harry Stamoulis, Chadstone Shopping Centre part-owner John Gandel, former Essendon Football Club chairman Paul Little, tech entrepreneur Ruslan Kogan, retailer Solomon Lew – and the list goes on.
ARIA Hall of Famer Tina Arena decided to stay in the ritzy postcode by pulling her $7m home from the market earlier this year.
A host of foodie favourites have recently sold in the suburb: celebrity chefs Shannon Bennett for more than $23m and George Calombaris for $8.8m, the owners of Greek institution Stalactites for about $10m, and Boost Juice founder Janine Allis for $22m.
And Harry Potter himself, Daniel Radcliffe, offloaded his apartment there for $2m – to his parents.
Live Nation Australasia chairman Michael Coppel and international businessman Mark Healey have turned heads by listing incredible homes in the suburb, for $30m-$33m and $40m-$44m respectively.
Dannii Minogue is a famous resident of nearby Hawthorn East, having sold her home of a decade there for $2.56m in 2019, and bought a stylish new house nearby earlier this year, for $3.52m.
Western Bulldogs president Peter Gordon and former Australia Post boss Ahmed Fahour are among Hawthorn’s best-known locals. The latter recently sold his mansion, Invergowrie, for $40.5m to scientific and medical supplies tycoons Stephen and Anjelica Tomisich, but still owns a $16m-plus Kinkora Rd mansion.
AFL stars are prominent in the other parts of leafy east, with Brisbane legend Jonathan Brown living in a $7.335m Canterbury pad, Hawthorn veteran Luke Breust calling Malvern East home, and Brownlow medallist Tom Mitchell renting in Camberwell.
And former tennis player Sam Groth recently shifted to Mont Albert North.
The northwest has been home to a line up of sports stars, from jockeys who want to be close to Flemington Race Course to footballers sticking by their home grounds.
Luke Currie sold up in Essendon last year, James Winks sold in Aberfeldie in 2018, while 2015 Melbourne Cup winner Michelle Payne offloaded her Essendon city base in 2017.
Alexkarbon North Melbourne director Charles Bongiovanni said the area was filled with AFL homeowners past and present from North Melbourne, Essendon and the Western Bulldogs.
Last year, retired Roos Scott Thompson sold his Ascot Vale shop conversion as Drew Petrie also handballed his family’s Strathmore dream home for a move to WA.
Strathmore has also been home to Richmond skipper Trent Cotchin, who sold his impressive California bungalow for $4.3m in 2017, and former Carlton and North Melbourne forward Jarrad Waite.
Essendon captain Dyson Heppell has sold two properties Moonee Ponds in recent years, including a 1910-built house he fully renovated during time off footy, for $2.65 million. And legend Dustin Fletcher sold his Keilor family pad in 2019.
Mr Bongiovanni, who’s brokered several deals for footballers over the years, said AFL clubs and management “encourage them” to invest and buy property.
“Generally they all rent together at the start until they find their feet,” he added.
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