55-bid auction marathon as home price shocks neighbourhood

Crowd of bidders gathering outside auction. Picture: supplied

A KNOCKDOWN Wavell Heights home astounded onlookers on Saturday, when it sold for $1.21m despite many of the 18 bidders seeing the property for the first time that morning.

“How do I register?” one would-be bidder asked just minutes before the auction started.

“Can you confirm there are no easements on this land?”

The two-bedroom, one-bathroom house on 776sq m at 42 Benyon St, Wavell Heights, had been in the one family for 68 years and came to auction after a short 12-day campaign with only 30 potential buyers inspecting the property over eight open homes.


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42 Benyon St, Wavell Heights. Picture: supplied

Lead sales agent, Claudia Rocha, of Ray White Bridgeman Downs received several pre-auction offers, but none were above $880,000.

The surprise bidder registration had the humble kitchen bustling with activity as people swarmed to take advantage of the property’s potential.

Original-condition kitchen waits to face its fate: demolition or renovation? Picture: supplied

Several bidders had plans to demolish the house and build new, but others saw character in the home and wanted to renovate.

As they moved out into the front yard, the buzz in the air began to build. A boy kicked a ball along the grass, and neighbours rested on the fence to be part of what Wayne Treloar, principal of Ray White Bridgeman Downs, termed “a great suburban event.”

The crowd swelled in anticipation as bidders prepared for a 55-bid auction marathon, with many buyers struggling to secure the home within their means.

Neighbours gathering for “great suburban event” on daisy-covered front yard. Picture: supplied.

The auction started with an opening bid of $780,000 and auctioneer Mitch Peereboom only accepted $20,000 bid increases until hitting $1m. Some offers were vetoed in a bold bet on the price people would be willing to pay during Brisbane’s property surge.

“A lot of people we only met new today, on the spot,” Ms Rocha said. “The market is moving fast. Too fast. People are happy to buy sight unseen. (Some people) have done no due diligence, they didn’t even ask to see the contract.”

The auction soon became a tennis match between a family from Carindale looking to move closer to school, and an interstate buyer looking for a long-term investment property. For every $4000 bid from the interstate buyer, the local family, leaning against the garage door, put an extra $1000 on top.

Carindale family strive to out-bid the interstate buyer. Picture: supplied

At $1.140m, with the interstate buyer from Parramatta in front, the local family paused.

“Are we on the market?” they asked. Claudia Rocha made a heeled dash up the front stairs and into the house while the furious bidding continued behind her.

She returned moments later and shouted from the top step.

“We’re on the market, Mitch!”

Adrenaline kicked in with a final volley of almost 30 bids before the interstate buyer claimed victory. “That’s okay, we are going to another auction at 3pm in Kedron,” the underbidder said after the auction.

Additional reporting: Zoe Atkinson

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