Former Liberal leader John Hewson is no stranger to protracted campaigns, but one of the longest in his life would have to be the decade it took to sell his Southern Highlands estate, Invergowrie.
The historic Tudor-style property was listed in 2009 with $11 million hopes that were revised to $8 million when it returned to the market in 2015, and passed in at its 2016 auction with no bids despite $7 million hopes.
More recently the guide was dropped to $6.2 million by Michael Maloney, of Richardson & Wrench Bowral, and it sold on Tuesday night for an undisclosed amount expected to be close to that.
Karl Zabel and Drew Lindsay, of Drew Lindsay Real Estate, were unable to disclose details of the sale, but confirmed they had introduced the buyer.
Invergowrie was built in 1936 by architect Geoffrey Loveridge for steel pioneer Sir Cecil Hoskins, and is surrounded by gardens designed by acclaimed landscape gardener Paul Sorensen.
Hewson was newly single in 2004 when he bought the property from stockbroker Ross Polkinghorne for $5.5 million, but in 2007 he married his now wife Jessica in the property’s ballroom.
“We haven’t had to do anything to the house apart from just basic maintenance,” Hewson told Domain in 2016.
Inside the grand foyer of the ornate residence is a circular staircase leading to six bedrooms, five bathrooms, formal lounge and dining rooms, library, two studies, ballrom, rumpus room, billiard room and a gymnasium.
Set on 9.3 hectares the grounds include three separate guest houses, garaging for six cars, a tennis court, 1930s-built swimming pool, Bocce pit, croquet lawn, orchard, Japanese-style garden with waterfall and an aviary.
Hewson’s purchase marked a return to the Southern Highlands trophy market since he had sold his former historic property Glencraig in Sutton Forest for $1.98 million in 1998.
The former Reserve Bank economist and former member for the blue ribbon seat of Wentworth in Sydney’s eastern suburbs also previously owned another Tudor-style Southern Highlands property with Paul Sorensen gardens, Redlands.
Hewson bought Redlands before he became Liberal leader in 1977 for $106,000 and sold it in 1985 for $380,000.
Hewson led the Liberal Party to defeat at the GST election of 1993, and a year later lost the party leadership to Alexander Downer before he left parliament in 1995.
Hewson has remained a public figure since as a business leader and political commentator, and remains living in Bowral.