Max and Rosalyn Baldwin have done extensive work on the 19th century sandstone Talgai Homestead.
Max and Rosalyn Baldwin have done extensive work on the 19th century sandstone Talgai Homestead.

Top rural property hits market

TALGAI Homestead, west of Allora, is the latest in a swag of blue ribbon properties to come on the market in the Southern Downs region.

Owned by Max and Rosalyn Baldwin, the 19th century sandstone homestead and 290 hectares of prime agricultural land has been listed for sale as the couple pursue other investments.

The property is one of at least five historically significant Warwick properties to be offered for sale in the past year.

The Glen and Braeside, on the city’s south, were listed last year – with the Braeside successfully selling – while Tatong, North Toolburra and Glenvale Station have also been on the market.

Herron Todd White Darling Downs senior rural valuer Doug Knight said it was unusual for so many premium properties to be listed in a such a short timeframe.

But he said well recognised properties often “sold themselves” even in the current tough market conditions.

“We saw a significant growth in Darling Downs rural property values from 2000 to late 2007,” Mr Knight said.

“Since then there has been a five to 20 per cent fall in prices.

“However these blue ribbon properties are generally insulated from such variations, because there is something special about them.

“They are primarily selling to private or corporate clients, who don’t need to derive an income from the properties for debt reduction.”

LJ Hooker property specialist Nicola Beggs confirmed inquiry for premium rural properties was coming from metropolitan areas or overseas.

“Once properties are over $1 million, we have very limited local inquiry,” Ms Beggs said.

“A lot of genuine lookers are retirees, or super funds or those looking for tax advantages.”

Yet she said supply and demand meant real estate was generally spending longer on the market before being sold.

“Listing times have definitely increased in the past few months,” Ms Beggs said.

Like Mr Knight, she agreed the money being paid for top-end properties consistently priced them out of reach of the agricultural sector.

“These properties generally aren’t big enough land-wise to generate an income that will meet the prices being paid for them,” Mr Knight said.

“But it is very much a genuine buyer’s market. If there is nothing special about a property, it won’t be easy to sell.”

Chris Todd, who has listed Talgai Homestead for the Baldwins, said the couple had put the property on the market to pursue other investments.

“I am aware the Baldwins have other rural property interests in the Allora area but, as far as I am aware, these are not for sale,” Mr Todd said.

He said the Baldwins had done extensive work on the homestead complex during the five years they had owned the property.

“This is a beautifully presented property in very good order and we have already had considerable buyer interest,” Mr Todd said.

“Aside from Talgai Homestead’s historical significance and appeal, another element in its favour is its proximity to Brisbane.”

Still on the market this week Glenvale Station is listed at $1.35 million, yet other agents remain coy about values with Talgai Homestead’s price available on application.

Meanwhile North Toolburra is rumoured to be under contract to a prominent Toowoomba family for excess of $10 million.

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