Real estate veteran Max Christmas dies, 81

Max Christmas died last month aged 81.

Gold Coast real estate veteran Max Christmas AM died unexpectedly last month.

The ex-lifesaver and builder, who opened his first agency at Surfers Paradise in 1971 and saw several boom and busts before retiring 34 years later, was 81.

High profile properties he marketed include in Queensland, the Sheraton Mirage, Sanctuary Cove, Royal Pines Integrated Resort, Hope Island Integrated Resort and Seaworld.

The broker also played a major part encouraging Asian investment from the 1980s; said to be behind $2.5 billion of Japanese deals alone.

In 1989 it is reported he traded real estate worth a total $1.5b.

In the mid-1990s, Mr Christmas introduced outrigging racing to Australia.

Not long after, the broker entered local council; later approving nudity at The Spit and Wave Break and South Stradbroke islands (story continues below).

In 2004 he retired from property – with a net worth speculated to be $10m – handing management of Ray White Surfers Paradise to brothers Andrew and Greg Bell.

Twelve years ago Mr Christmas was nominated as one of 150 people who helped shaped Queensland.

In 2016 he was awarded an Order of Australia for services to real estate and tourism.

The businessman has also been a president, and is a life member, of Surfers Paradise Life Club.

Surfers Paradise MP John-Paul Langbroek tweeted the agent was “an indelible part of [the city’s] progression from the 1950s village to 21st century city”.

Mr Christmas is reported to have suffered a heart attack at his Surfers Paradise home.

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Marc Pallisco

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