A Sydney local has paid AU$4.705 million (NZ$5.046m) for an uninhabitable house in Kensington, six kilometres southeast of Sydney, after eyeing it up for around ten years.
Described by realestate.com.au as a "neglected uninhabitable Federation charmer" the 4-bedroom house, located at 25 Duke Street in Kensington, is on a 556 square metre corner section, with zoning allowing it to be subdivided.
"After the previous owners, the Savordos family, paid AU$1.1m for it in 2005, they started to renovate but abandoned their plans as it was too much work", real estate agent Joe Recep at NG Farah said.
The house sat vacant and unfinished for around 16 years. Long before it was put up for sale, it attracted the interest of a local resident living just 500 metres away, who on June 5 became the successful purchaser at AU$4.705 million.
"They had that property on their mind for ten years driving past," Recep told Newshub.
The owners had left the house vacant after ripping out some of the ornate ceilings, the kitchen, toilet and bathrooms, meaning the house was unlivable.
“The grass was knee-high when we first went there six weeks ago and the talk from locals is that there were even snakes in the back yard," Recep told realestate.com.au.
No power at the property represented another challenge, forcing real estate agents to use the light on their mobile phones when showing potential buyers through after hours.
But despite it's unfinished state, Recep said as it was close to the University of NSW, two hospitals and within walking distance to the Royal Randwick Racecourse, the property's location sold it. It attracted over 15,000 online views and over 300 enquiries worldwide.
"Interest was strong...we had over 15 registered buyers, we received enquiries worldwide (United Arab Emirates, US [and from] many Asian countries," Recep told Newshub.
With no heritage restrictions on the property, potential buyers toyed over whether to "restore" or "bulldoze" it. Bidding opened at AU$3.5m and quickly jumped to AU$4m before continuing in AU$100,000 increments up to $4.5m. Bids then fell to increments of $20,000, $10,000 and $5,000.
Having now finally secured the property after a decade of driving past, Recep said the new owners plan to "consider their options".
Since 2005, when the property was purchased by the Salvordos family for AU$1.1 million, it's value more than quadrupled. Despite doing only a small amount of work, the sale price of AU$4.705m netted them AU$225,312 for each year they'd owned it.
In central Auckland, real estate agent Cici Wang confirmed a run-down 3-bedroom house at 9 Patey Street, Epsom sold for NZ$4.05m in April. The purchaser, a developer, paid almost $1.3m more than the homes.co.nz estimate of $2.34m to $2.76m.
Located in Auckland's 'Grammar zone' and close to Remuera and Newmarket, the house was on a 691 square metre corner section zoned for terrace housing and apartment building.