With annual salaries between $200,000 and $350,000 you could be forgiven for thinking our well-funded Federal politicians had a stable of real estate holdings to cash in on the recently rising market and negative gearing perks.
Records show, however, that some of these high-profile public servants have fairly modest property portfolios, with just one or two addresses to their name.
Despite not having an arsenal of bricks and mortar, many of these politicians have still ridden the real estate rollercoaster to their financial gain.
ScoMo hails from The Shire
As Prime Minister, Scott Morrison has the choice between two waterfront neighbourhoods; one in his home electorate of Cook in the Sutherland Shire south of Sydney, where he and his wife Jenny have owned since 2009 — and the historic national treasure known as Kirribilli House on Sydney Harbour.
There is also the option of living full-time in The Lodge in Canberra.
But in September, in a letter to his electorate, Mr Morrison announced they were moving to Kirribilli House “for security and convenience”.
The long time Morrison family home is in Dolans Bay, a sleepy suburb that is home to only 350 residences according to the 2016 Census.
In 2009, the couple paid $900,000 for the three-bedroom house which is on 696sq m, with a pool and is about 500m from the waterfront.
If the Morrisons were to sell today they could easily double their money, as CoreLogic data shows the 12-month median house price for Dolans Bay was $2.1325 million. Homes on the waterfront have been selling in excess of $4 million.
Shorten’s short list of one
Despite siding with struggling buyers, Mr Shorten himself made a pretty profit when his suburban home in Melbourne was snapped up under the hammer in 2007.
The Labor leader sold the Moonee Ponds home, Maynooth, that he once shared with ex-wife Debbie Beale for a $1.75 million.
However, Mr Shorten could have made more had he held it for longer, as it sold again for a whopping $3 million in 2017 — more than the original $2.8 million price guide at the time.
He swiftly bought again in Moonee Ponds, the same suburb where he is the local member for the electorate of Maribyrnong and the place that was put on the map as the home turf of comedy queen Dame Edna Everage.
Mr Shorten’s official records show he still owns a Moonee Ponds house with his second wife Chloe Bryce, the daughter of the former Governor-General Quentin Bryce.
Just one for Abbott
Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott just has the one property — his Forestville family home in his electorate of Warringah.
The ex-PM, now backbencher’s modest digs is a four-bedroom house, also on 696sq m, and was purchased in 1994 by Mr Abbott and his wife Margaret Aitken for $351,000.
But today that Northern Beaches home could fetch at least $1.5 million, even in a depressed market.
In 2015, the then PM sparked controversy when he said he hoped housing prices would continue to rise.
At the time, Mr Abbott insisted most Australians wanted house prices to go up so they could secure their future, but he was subsequently slammed Opposition Leader Bill Shorten for wanting to destroy housing prices.
“Millions of Australians have mortgages and the last thing they want to see is the decline in their most important asset,’’ Mr Abbott had said.
Mr Shorten said Mr Abbott, “just didn’t get it”.
Joyce wants someone to buy the farm
In 2017, former Nationals leader and Deputy PM, Barnaby Joyce also weighed in on the housing affordability crisis. He received criticism when he urged Sydneysiders to ditch any aspirations for “incredibly expensive” harbour views and encouraged them to move to regional Australia where homes are cheaper.
Mr Joyce told homebuyers who can’t afford property in major cities like Sydney to pack-up and embrace the rural lifestyle declaring “there are other parts of Australia” to buy.
“I get annoyed when people talk about the only house that you can buy apparently is in Sydney and it’s too dear. There are other parts of Australia. I live in one, it’s called Tamworth,” he told ABC Radio at the time.
According to CoreLogic data, the 12-month median sale price for houses in the greater Tamworth region was $350,000.
Mr Joyce also has a modest portfolio that includes a residence in Loomberah south of Tamworth and a 1015ha farm west of Narrabri.
The plot of farmland, which was listed for sale in December, has coal-seam gas potential and is to be offloaded to fund Mr Joyce’s impending divorce from his wife of 25 years, Natalie.
The block, which features 218ha of arable land, numerous dams and eight main paddocks, was purchased by the Joyces in 2007 for $572,000.
While some reports indicate that the Joyce’s marital home near Tamworth is to be sold, there has been no official listing of the property.
The couple famously split when it was announced Mr Joyce was expecting a baby with former staffer Vikki Campion. The couple’s son was born in April and the pair are now expecting a second child.
Pyne heads for the Hills
Outgoing Defence Minister Christopher Pyne is set for a slice of the good life as he prepares to swap his much-loved eastern suburbs home for greener pastures in the Adelaide Hills.
Mr Pyne and wife Carolyn have listed their Wattle Park family home, which they hope to sell for about $1 million to $1.1 million.
Mr Pyne — who will end his 26-year political career in the eastern Adelaide seat of Sturt at May’s federal election — said he was sad to leave his treasured Burnside council area, where he had lived for the past 51 years.
“We’re selling because Carolyn and the children always wanted to live in the Adelaide Hills and now that I’m not the member of Sturt anymore, they get to live in the Hills,” he said.
Other politicians have declared their current interest in bricks and mortar around Australia.
The Member for Dickson and Home Affairs Minister for the Morrison Government has investments in Townsville (QLD), Moreton Is (QLD), Palm Beach (QLD), Spring Hill (QLD) and Kingston (ACT).
He also owns a family home in Camp Mountain (QLD).
The Treasurer of Australia and Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party owns a family home in Hawthorn in Melbourne’s inner east, with his wife Amie, which he bought in 2011.
Has a residence in Smithfield, NSW which he bought in 2003, the same year he married wife Rebecca Mifsud.
He also owns a block of land in Bawley Point, NSW — which they plan to build a holiday home on.
Richard Di Natale
The Australian Senator and leader of the Australian Greens owns just one property; a residence in North Melbourne in Victoria.