Message Media founder snares $74.5m Toorak house

Blair House sold for $74.5 million in August.

Cashed up from the $1.7 billion sale of his Message Media business last year – Grant Rule has been revealed as the buyer of Toorak’s Blair House.

A formal lounge at Blair House.

The 7843 square metre T-shaped estate at 17 St Georges Road cost $74.5 million in August.

The price would have set a Victorian record were it not for an $88m deal the same week for a dwelling up the street – #27-29, on 7246 sqm – to co-founder Ed Craven.

That property, which has a much more imposing street presence, is a development site, with the sale incurring GST.

Blair House, meanwhile, which only has a driveway to the road, contains a fully renovated Georgian Revival mansion, penned in 1936 by Hughes and Orme and outbuildings, including a stable converted residence; all up there are 10 bedrooms.

There is also an established manicured garden and tennis court.

Morrell & Koren’s David Morrell represented Mr Rule, who has since selling the then-21-year old Message Media business he co-owned to Sweden’s Sinch, focused on philanthropic efforts via the Susan McKinnon Foundation (story continues below).

A casual living room overlooking part of the Blair House garden.

The family of late engineer Randovan Basil Nanut was the vendor, holding Blair House since the 1970s.

Marshall White’s Marcus Chiminello and Sonja Sendin were the agents.

Blair House was developed in 1936.

The record price for an Australian home is $100m, paid five years ago by Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes for Point Piper’s Fairwater.

Another dwelling in that suburb, Edgewater, traded for $95m in 2020.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of