AusFinance Gazette

Unliveable, extremely dilapidated houses selling for millions in Sydney

If your idea of a dream home includes peeling paint and gaping holes in the floors, Sydney’s property market has been rolling out the red danger tape for you this year.

The concept of forking over millions for a structure deemed ‘unhabitable and collapsing’ might seem bewildering to most of us, but the demand for dilapidated houses in Sydney continues to grow, with a number of ramshackle residences going under the hammer for a pretty penny in the last few months alone. While beauty is surely in the eye of the buyer, these five recent offerings might warrant a check in with your optometrist.


What do rotting floorboards, a collapsed ceiling, extensive water damage, and unstable flooring all have in common? 4,621,000 dollars. That’s how much this former hoarder’s house on Surrey Street in Darlinghurst sold for in June. Spread out over four levels, the uninhabitable five-bedroom, two-bathroom home drew a crowd of over 100 at auction, with 16 registered bidders battling it out for the keys to a house requiring a hard hat to enter. After bidding kicked off at $3.2m, interest whittled down to three bidders until it finally sold for $621,000 above its reserve.


At the beginning of this month, a derelict home on Morehead Street in Sydney’s inner-city suburb of Waterloo fetched just over $1 million at auction—$100K above its reserve. Listed as ‘not for the faint-hearted’, the 1880s style terrace boasted moldy peeling walls, cracked plastering, damaged floorboards and ceilings, and an outdoor bathroom so far gone it didn’t even warrant a photo. Still, the three-bedroom home was marketed as ‘the ultimate fixer upper’ and sold for $1,010,000, despite its listing agent admitting it’s “probably the worst” home he’s ever sold.


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Back in April, this two-bedroom deceased estate went for over $1.3 million, despite its abandoned bathroom giving Waterloo a run for its money. Held in the same family for almost half a century, the dilapidated home on Fern St in Randwick was listed as ‘virtually uninhabitable’, yet still proved its potential to be restored to its former glory or completely bulldozed. Gonna go out on a limb here and guess the buyer’s planning the latter.

Just last weekend, in the family friendly inner west suburb of Erskineville, this two-bedroom free standing home on Charles Street went under the hammer. While it may look fit for a king compared to the last few listings, this peeling palace fetched an eye-watering $1,090,000 at auction, despite the listing agent’s recommendation to ‘build from scratch’.


All this peeling paint got you hot under the hammer? If you’re in the market for a fixer-upper all of your own, this deceased estate in Freshwater goes up for auction next weekend. If the retro pastel pink kitchen cabinets don’t already give it away, the two-bedroom home was held by the same owner since the mid-60s and looks as though it hasn’t been updated since. It’s definitely in a lot better condition than the others—more in need of some TLC than a complete rebuild—and its proximity to Curl Curl beach will likely bring in the high bids.

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