With fifty properties and counting, it’s safe to say that the Palmer family’s housing situation is a far bit more secure than it is for most normal Aussies. And yet, not known for missing a quick buck, the Palmers have decided that now is the perfect time to hike the rent on a number of their luxurious QLD homes…
Aussie billionaire Clive Palmer – the self-styled “Queensland’s Richest Man” – has always been a controversial figure, known not only for his vast wealth and real estate empire but also his questionable political stances.
In fact, last year the Sydney Morning Herald’s Resolve Political Monitor officially named him the least-liked political figure in Australia. Palmer did little to aid this reputation when he went on to purchase a car that previously belonged to one of the few political figures that must be more hated than him: Adolf Hitler.
This week, however, he enters the news for slightly more benign reasons. With a property market that seems to be in a never-ending tailspin, it appears that not even Australia’s wealthiest are immune from its effects: Palmer has listed several of his properties in Queensland and hiked rents on many more.
WATCH: Another Queensland property that’s ready for more than a shaky market.
Palmer’s net worth hit an estimated – and staggering – $18.35 billion last year. Like many of the superrich with cash burning holes in their infinitely deep pocket, he has a long-standing affinity for residential real estate.
The Palmer family collectively owns over 50 properties in Queensland, a staggering number that is distributed across the dynasty as follows: 33 of them are owned by Clive himself while Anna, his wife, has seven homes in her name.
His son, Michael, owns eight properties and his daughter, Emily, owns six. The Gold Coast’s Sovereign Island is one of Palmer’s favourite locations for investing his massive earnings, and he’s currently seeking tenants for a waterfront home in the area.
One of these properties – a five-bedroom, four-bathroom, double-garage waterfront home – has had the rent increased by $700 per week, bringing the new rental price to $1,850 per week. This is the first time in three years that the rent has been raised, and the former Senator requires a bond equivalent to six weeks’ rent, amounting to not-insignificant $11,100.
Emily Palmer is rumoured to be a particularly shrewd property investor, with two of her six properties currently being renewed for rentals. One of her houses – a five-bedroom, three-bathroom, eight-car garage property in Toowong purchased for $2.6m in 2021- is listed for rent at $2,400 a week.
Meanwhile, Ms. Palmer’s three-bedroom house in Taringa, which was gifted to her from her mother’s estate, is also available for rent. The house was purchased for $75,000 in 1982 and has been a steady earner ever since. Since 2017, it has been rented out for $699 per week but has now been listed for $950 per week after a $250 increase.
Despite the shaky market, the Palmers aren’t cashing out on any of their properties just yet… with one exception: Michael Palmer’s three-bedroom Chapel Hill property, which recently went under contract after 47 days on the market, is yet to have the sale price revealed.
Despite his wealth, Clive Palmer has a history of controversial business dealings and legal battles. In 2016, he faced a lawsuit over unpaid royalties from a joint venture with Chinese state-owned company CITIC Pacific, which resulted in a $200 million court ruling against him.
In a similar vein (pun intended): during 2019, Palmer’s mining company, Mineralogy, lost a court battle with the Western Australian government over a multi-billion dollar iron ore project.
Despite his controversial reputation, Palmer remains a prominent figure in Australian business and politics, while his family’s real estate holdings continue to boom in a favourable market for owners.
Is it ethically upstanding for a family of billionaires to be hiking rents when renters across the country are struggling to find somewhere to stay? That’s a question for greater minds than me…
In the meantime, I’ll be working on a time-machine to see if I can nab a three-bed house for $75,000…