The largest private non-state and non-monarchical stretch of land in the world is being sold in Australia and is reported to be worth around £175 million.
Founded in 1899 by Australia’s “Cattle King” – Sir Sidney Kidman, the 39,000 square miles of land containing cattle stations is larger than Scotland and around three quarters the size of England.
Around 150 people live within the remote estate which also includes 11 cattle stations and roughly 186,000 cattle. The vast area of land also incorporates the world’s largest standalone cattle property – the 8,900 square-mile Anna Creek Station.
The sale is thought to have attracted interest from more than 30 bidders worldwide including in China, United States, Britain, Canada and Switzerland. The bidders include farming families, meat companies, foreign investors and investment syndicates.
However, the sale has caused controversy in Australia with many MP’s keen to oppose any sale to a foreign state-owned investor. Barnaby Joyce, a federal minister and member of the rural-based National party says:
“This isn’t xenophobia, this is exactly what other countries do — no other government can buy land in China or Indonesia, for example.” Mr Joyce told The Australian.
“It’s different when it is a genuine foreign company or individual investing… but a foreign government has a more long-term purpose, which could over the long run undermine our nation’s interests.”
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Meanwhile, a bit closer to home, a section of pavement in North London has sold at auction for £125,000.
The 560sqft of high street located near Islington Green, ended up fetching over £100,000 more than its reserve price and was described by the auctioneers Savills as “with potential”.
Chris Coleman Smith, the head of Savills auctions said:
“This unusual patch of land offered auction bidders the opportunity to invest in Islington for a fraction of the price of a property.
“The pavement area could simply be held as an investment, or potentially used for commercial purposes such as a location for Saturday market stalls or a mobile coffee shop subject to the requisite consents.”
Land Registry figures highlight that the average price of a property in Islington has risen by 10.9% in the year up until April to £671,321.