RBA Lists Sydney Mansion Amid Home Price Surge, Lowest Rates

The Reserve Bank of Australia is seeking to sell a 920-square-meter (9,902-square-foot) residential property in a harbor-side suburb of Sydney amid the highest home prices the city has ever seen.

The central bank has listed for sale the six-bedroom Eversley mansion near the northern end of the Sydney Harbour Bridge through broker Ray White Group, according to a listing on the realestate.com.au website. No price guide was given for the property in Kirribilli, a suburb four kilometers (2.5 miles) north of the city center, where the median house price was A$2.35 million ($2.13 million), according to the website.

The RBA is putting the house up for sale after its record-low 2.5 percent benchmark interest rate helped drive a 13.4 percent gain in Sydney dwelling prices in the 12 months to Jan. 31. While home prices are at a record, the country’s jobless rate is at a decade-high 6 percent, shrinking the likelihood of a rate increase that could arrest further price surges.

“It’s a seller’s market quite clearly: there are plenty of buyers out there, not many listings, and prices are rising, so it’s not a bad time to sell,” said Louis Christopher, managing director of Sydney-based real estate data provider SQM Research Pty. “It’s a little bit perplexing as to why the RBA was holding residential property.”

Prime Location

Rachael Wright, marketing agent at Ray White, declined to comment on the listing, which shows the house, at 10 Carabella Street, has been split into two apartments. Colleague Kingsley Yates didn’t immediately respond to a voice-mail message seeking comment. The RBA declined to comment on the sale. State government filings show the RBA owns both apartments.

Kirribilli, which is also the location of Sydney residences for the Prime Minister and the Governor General, is surrounded by water on three sides, with views of the city’s Opera House and Harbour Bridge.

The RBA bought 8 and 10 Carabella Street in 1986, and combined them with a neighboring property that it already owned as part of a new staff training college, according to a city council document. The bank’s H.C. Coombs Centre for Financial Studies is still located at the adjoining property at 122A Kirribilli Avenue, according to its website.

The value of the RBA’s property, plant and equipment assets was A$491 million as of June 30, up from A$448 million a year earlier, the bank’s financial statements for the 2013 fiscal year show.

The tenants of one of the apartments at Eversley gave notice of their plans to vacate in mid-2013, according to documents released in December under a Freedom of Information request.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.