Sydney auctions: wrecked homes sell for multimillion dollar prices amid lockdown house shortage

Auction at Cooley Auctions office

Auctioneer Jake Moore at the virtual auction for a home in North Bondi. Picture: Julian Andrews

Rundown homes needing major repairs or a complete overhaul were among the most sought after properties on what was another bumper weekend of auction activity across Sydney.

Close to 600 properties went under the hammer on Saturday, with the majority selling well over reserve and some attracting nearly 50 bidders.

A dilapidated duplex in North Bondi left unattended for three years was among the biggest sales, changing hands at auction for $3.21 million.

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The Reina St home was structurally intact but much of the interior was in a shabby state: bathroom tiles were splintering off the walls, paint was bubbling off the ceilings and utilities were disconnected.

Selling agent Ric Serrao of Raine and Horne-Double Bay said recent sales in the area – a modern house on the street recently sold for over $6 million – would have prompted buyers to dig deep at auction.

67 Reina St, North Bondi sold for $3.21m.

The online auction attracted 10 bidders but only two made offers for the three-bedroom duplex.

Bidding was initially slow to get started, with auctioneer Jake Moore of Cooley Auctions receiving an opening bid of $2.6 million.

It was followed by a vendor bid of $2.8 million but Mr Moore, who described the property as an “unpolished gem”, had to reject numerous other bids for being too low.

The auction appeared to stall near the $3 million mark and the auctioneer warned the property would likely pass in unless no higher bids were made.





This prompted the two active bidders to make a series of bids in $10,000 increments to get the first right of negotiation – what’s normally offered to the highest bidder when a property passes in.

That jockeying for the right of first negotiation ended up breathing new life into the auction and a bidding war ensued that, ironically, pushed the price passed the reserve.

“We’re selling now, make no mistake, we’ve got where we needed to be,” Mr Moore said when bidding surpassed $3.2 million.

Among the other derelict homes sold for big prices was a two-bedroom house on Young St in the inner west suburb of Annandale.

148 Young Street, Annandale.

The house with flaking walls, worn floors and no indoor bathroom sold at auction for over $2.62 million. The price was about $425,000 over an already ambitious reserve of $2.2 million and was described by Belle Property selling agent Michael Gallina as “unimaginable”. “It’s the same price as renovated houses (in the area),” he said. There were 14 registered bidders.

Further west, a fire-damaged house with boarded up windows attracted a whopping 45 bidders at auction.

The uninhabitable house in Whalan near Mount Druitt sold for $585,000 – $115,000 over the owner’s expectation.

185 Luxford Road, Whalan.

Auctioneer Jerome Smith of Above the Reserve said competition for the house on Luxford Rd was “crazy” and represented only “land value”.

Mr Smith said demand for housing in the Western Sydney suburb was getting a major boost from a raft of town improvements. The home sold to an investor.

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