Record-breaking Whitsunday house sale amid pandemic
ONE of the region's most luxurious hilltop properties has set a record for the highest sale price on the Whitsunday mainland in two years.
Ray White Whitsunday sold Chesapeake Whitsunday, a three-storey house perched on a mountain 300 metres above Airlie Beach, to Alan Thomas Galloway, owner of the world-renowned Alabar horse breeding stud in Victoria.
The off-market sale is the highest sale price achieved in the Whitsunday mainland since 2018 when Mandalay sold for $14 million to a Sydney family.
The house sits on 8.9 hectares with views across the ocean, a 25m lap pool and two helipads and was previously owned by Hog's Breath Cafe founder Don Algie.
Mr Galloway said he fell in love with the property from the sky.
"I was flying and I saw the mountain with Chesapeake on the top and at 1000 feet above sea level, it was like a beacon," he said
"I have fallen in love with Airlie Beach, it's like a hidden gem, a slice of paradise.
"My father Alan Playford Galloway passed away in February, he was almost 92, and he loved Airlie Beach.
"He and Mum used to sail up to Airlie from their home in Coffs Harbour a few times a year."
The mountain was initially developed by New Zealand survivalist Don McDonald.
Mr Algie later bought the land and built the house that stands today.
The sale of Chesapeake Whitsunday helped bolster a record month of sales for Ray White Whitsundays which sold more than $21 million worth of stock in August.
Ray White Whitsunday principal Mark Beale noted an increase in interstate buyers who had invested in a run of "sight unseen" sales.
Mr Beale said the team was fielding "dozens of calls" a day from southerners ready to travel to Airlie Beach as soon as the lockdown was over and the borders reopened.
"So many people are looking to buy a holiday home in Airlie Beach with the option of living here full time or working from home," he said.
"It feels like everyone from down south wants to have a property here.
"So many of our buyers are working remotely anyway."
Mr Beale said rentals were also "going nuts" and holiday letting inquiries were "very strong", particularly in Mandalay and on waterfront properties in Airlie Beach.