'Absolutely shocking': In just five minutes knockdown sells $600,000 over reserve


It took just five minutes for frenzied bidding to push up the price of a house destined for the wrecking ball from an opening bid of $1 million to a whopping $2.2 million.

The derelict home at 26 High Street, Strathfield, which went to auction on Saturday was under instruction from the NSW Trustee and Guardian and was described as "unliveable".

Records show that it belonged to an elderly pair of sisters who had passed away.

Four eager bidders, attracted by the large 537-square-metre block, went into battle for the two-bedroom cottage until bidding stopped at $600,000 above reserve - with just one man left standing.

But while big sales aren't uncommon in Strathfield - the median house price is $2,650,000 - the auction result for the derelict home still came as a surprise.

"It was an absolutely shocking result ... no one expected that", said selling agent Frank Setterini, of Time Realty Five Dock, adding that the home wasn't in Strathfield's most desirable pocket.

"For that size block, in that location, it's definitely an above-the-line result ... and Strathfield has some big blocks. You just can't predict what'll happen at auction."

Mr Setterini said the buyer will knock down the property and build a new house. "You couldn't restore that home".

Auctioneer Rocky Bartolotto, from Auction Services, said the auction lasted just five minutes and drew a crowd of about 100 people.

The underbidder tried nine times to outbid the other potential buyers, but lost out in the end.

Mr Bartolotto said dilapidated properties on large blocks of land, such as 26 High Street, tend to draw plenty of interest.

"Looking at the last 12 months, anything that's had that knock-down-rebuild quality has done quite well at auction. They attract a strong number of bidders."

"It's a blank canvas - the buyer can do whatever they want," he said.

Four of the five Strathfield properties - three houses and two apartments - scheduled to go to auction on Saturday sold.

The exception was a five-bedroom modern home on a 556 square metre block which passed in at $2.15 million, less than what 26 High Street sold for despite sitting on a larger parcel of land.

This story 'Absolutely shocking': In just five minutes knockdown sells $600,000 over reserve first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.