Fairfax Lists Harborside Sydney Mansion for Sale in Record Quest

The Fairfax family, founders of the company that owns the Australian Financial Review and the Sydney Morning Herald, are seeking to sell their Sydney harborside estate in what could become the nation’s biggest residential property sale ever.

Elaine, set on 6,980 square meters (75,132 square-foot) of land covering six property titles in the city’s eastern suburbs, is expected to set a price record, said Ken Jacobs, Sydney-based managing director of Ken Jacobs real estate, the Australian affiliate of Christie’s Great Estates, which is selling the home.

“There’s not been a waterfront of this size come to the market that I can remember,” Jacobs said in a telephone interview. “It’ll set a new Australian record. There’s no comparables to work from,” he said, declining to estimate a sale price.

The listing of the seven-bedroom house with a tennis court comes amid a revival in Sydney’s property market, which has recorded an 8.3 percent increase in prices this year, according to Brisbane-based researcher RP Data.

Publisher Deke Miskin and his swimsuit-designer wife Eve this year sold their nine-bedroom harborfront mansion Altona, also in Point Piper, after offering it for more than A$50 million ($47 million). Television executive Bruce McWilliam sold a house dubbed Bang & Olufsen for its resemblance to the sound system made by the Danish company for A$33 million, the Domain property website reported on April 21.

Elaine, located at 550 New South Head Road, Double Bay, was built in 1863 and was bought by Geoffrey Fairfax in 1891, according to the Woollahra library website. It was inhabited by the Fairfax family until 1995.

John Fairfax

The home has since been rented out and has a lease in place until early next year, Jacobs said. Christie’s, which will conduct a global marketing campaign to sell the home, is taking registrations of interest in the property, he said. It won’t open the house for inspections until next year, he said.

John Fairfax bought the Sydney Morning Herald in 1841 and the family controlled the publisher John Fairfax Ltd. until 1990 when the company’s bankers called in receivers as debts totaled A$1.7 billion, according to the newspaper’s website.

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