Melbourne Covid: Exodus of celebrities from city after months of lockdown


Melbourne’s A-list crowd are fleeing the Victorian capital after a brutal year that saw the city locked down for months on end.

Hamish and Zoë Foster Blake were the first big names to lead the so-called ‘Covid exodus’, followed by former footy star Luke Hodge.

Now Lleyton and Bec Hewitt are reportedly set to follow suit after putting their palatial Toorak mansion on the market.

And with Rebecca and Chris Judd’s neighbours recently listing their house for a jaw-dropping price, there are rumours the AFL power couple might not be far behind them. 

Leading the charge: Hamish Blake and Zoë Foster Blake (pictured) and AFL star Luke Hodge have already left Melbourne, with Lleyton and Bec Hewitt reportedly set to follow suit

Leading the charge: Hamish Blake and Zoë Foster Blake (pictured) and AFL star Luke Hodge have already left Melbourne, with Lleyton and Bec Hewitt reportedly set to follow suit 

Earlier this year, Hamish and Zoë added to their considerable wealth by selling their Melbourne home ‘for a record price’, according to realestate.com.au.

The Richmond property fetched a whopping $7.435million.

The suburb’s previous record was a five-bedroom home sold for $5.3million in 2018.

The former Melburnians, who have since relocated to Sydney’s eastern suburbs, seemingly have few regrets about leaving their longtime home. 

Topping up the money pit: Earlier this year, Hamish and Zoë added to their considerable wealth by selling their Melbourne home 'for a record price', according to realestate.com.au

Topping up the money pit: Earlier this year, Hamish and Zoë added to their considerable wealth by selling their Melbourne home ‘for a record price’, according to realestate.com.au

‘Melbourne has great people; Sydney has great people. Melbourne has great food; Sydney has great food. But I think Sydney has to have it for geography,’ Hamish said. 

The comedian added: ‘There’s not a city like it in the world when it comes to the beaches and harbour that become part of your day there.’

The couple recently spent nearly $9million on a mansion in Vaucluse.  

Stunning: Bec and Lleyton Hewitt are selling their $16million Toorak mansion amid rumours they're moving to Sydney

Stunning: Bec and Lleyton Hewitt are selling their $16million Toorak mansion amid rumours they’re moving to Sydney

Bec and Lleyton Hewitt last month put their ‘first-class’ French-inspired Toorak mansion on the market with an asking price of $16million.

The former tennis pro and Home and Away actress had bought the home in 2016 for $12.7million. 

They are rumoured to be considering a move back to Sydney, after Bec was seen inspecting a home in Manly last year in between rehearsals for Dancing with the Stars.

Movers: The Hewitts are rumoured to be considering a move back to Sydney, after Bec was seen inspecting a home in Manly last year in between rehearsals for Dancing with the Stars

Movers: The Hewitts are rumoured to be considering a move back to Sydney, after Bec was seen inspecting a home in Manly last year in between rehearsals for Dancing with the Stars

AFL superstar Luke Hodge secured a premium price for his family home in Glen Iris before it even went to auction.

The Hawthorn great, 37, is estimated to have fetched more than $3.38million for the two-storey home, reports realestate.com.au.

Luke and his family sold the house after making a permanent move to Queensland following his final two seasons with the Brisbane Lions.

The footy player, who purchased the property in 2009 for $1.46million, was initially hoping to sell for between $2.9million and $3.1million. 

Score: Former AFL superstar Luke Hodge fetched well over $3million for his stunning Glen Iris family home

Score: Former AFL superstar Luke Hodge fetched well over $3million for his stunning Glen Iris family home 

Relocating: The Hawthorn great (left, with wife Lauren Kirkman) sold the home after making a permanent move to Queensland following his final two seasons with the Brisbane Lions

Relocating: The Hawthorn great (left, with wife Lauren Kirkman) sold the home after making a permanent move to Queensland following his final two seasons with the Brisbane Lions

Fellow footy legend Shane Crawford and his partner Olivia Anderson this year sold their Brighton mansion, following the family’s move to northern New South Wales.

The four-bedroom Victorian estate, which the couple completely renovated after buying it for $3.05million in 2009, hit the market in September with a price guide of $9million to $9.9million.

Fredman Property Group owner Joel Fredman would not confirm the sale price, but industry sources told realestate.com.au it was ‘in the vicinity of $9million’.

High-end buyers were ‘lining up’ to tour the home, Mr Fredman previously said, but it was a family with three children that ended up purchasing it.  

Sea change: Footy legend Shane Crawford and his partner Olivia Anderson sold their Brighton mansion for about $9million, following the family's move to northern New South Wales. The couple are pictured with their sons, Charlie, Ben and identical twins Jack and Harry

Sea change: Footy legend Shane Crawford and his partner Olivia Anderson sold their Brighton mansion for about $9million, following the family’s move to northern New South Wales. The couple are pictured with their sons, Charlie, Ben and identical twins Jack and Harry

Impressive: High-end buyers were said to be 'lining up' to tour the AFL star's former home, but it was a family with three children that ended up purchasing it. The 1887-built property, known as 'Ellesmere', features a 20m pool (pictured), a tennis court, a gym and a steam room

Impressive: High-end buyers were said to be ‘lining up’ to tour the AFL star’s former home, but it was a family with three children that ended up purchasing it. The 1887-built property, known as ‘Ellesmere’, features a 20m pool (pictured), a tennis court, a gym and a steam room

Next to go? House-proud Bec and Chris Judd (pictured) often share pictures of their Spanish colonial-style mansion on social media, after buying it for $7.3million in March 2018

Next to go? House-proud Bec and Chris Judd (pictured) often share pictures of their Spanish colonial-style mansion on social media, after buying it for $7.3million in March 2018 

House-proud Bec and Chris Judd often share pictures of their Spanish colonial-style mansion on social media, after buying it for $7.3million in March 2018. 

The sprawling home has its own gym and magnesium salt pool, as well as a tennis court that can be turned into a footy oval or cricket pitch.

There is also a snooker table and a fully-stocked bar, among other mod cons. 

Stunning: The mother of four, 38, recently gave her Instagram followers a tour of her backyard while showing off her blossoming wisteria vines

Stunning: The mother of four, 38, recently gave her Instagram followers a tour of her backyard while showing off her blossoming wisteria vines

Swimming through lockdown: Bec recently said her family had been using their magnesium salt pool a lot during the Covid lockdown

Swimming through lockdown: Bec recently said her family had been using their magnesium salt pool a lot during the Covid lockdown

Bec and Chris may be tempted to pack up and leave the area after one of their neighbours put their house up for sale with a very lucrative price tag. 

It could give the high-profile couple an idea of what they stand to earn should they sell their own mansion.

Their neighbour’s five-bedroom home in the upmarket suburb has been listed for sale with an eye-watering $14million to $15.4million price guide.

Property agent Angie Swindon said of the home: ‘It’s Golden Mile, it’s probably 200m from the beach. It’s a fantastic location, one of the best streets in Brighton.’ 

Setting the bar: Bec and Chris may be tempted to pick up and leave the area after one of their neighbours put their house up for sale with a $14million to $15.4million price guide

Setting the bar: Bec and Chris may be tempted to pick up and leave the area after one of their neighbours put their house up for sale with a $14million to $15.4million price guide

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