Because house prices in Sydney are totally borked, this hoarder’s wonderland (!) in Bronte in the eastern suburbs sold overnight at auction for $3 million – $500K over reserve.
The three-bedroom, one-bathroom, nowhere-to-park-your-car home was described as a “rare development opportunity” by Realestate.com.au, probably because on the next line they straight-up call it “not habitable“.
But that’s not the darkest and most disconcerting thing about the ad for the property. The final line is one of those super short stories that even ‘Baby Shoes’ Hemingway would admit is sad as hell: “Deceased estate, over 18s to enter at own risk (enclosed shoes only).”
Agents couched these horrifying details with positive wordplay, describing the short walk to the beach, views of the ocean and close-by cafes and public school.
Tellingly, they included no images of the home’s interior – instead they used an artful picture of the street sign and a bunch of overhead shots with arrows pointing to the house’s location. Oh, and these two pics of what we assume to be the backyard???
The Federation home once belonged to the late Ernie Towell, who worked for the Royal Agricultural Society for much of his life. He was a known hoarder, who meticulously labelled his collection of piping, timber offcuts, rusty paint tins and other miscellaneous junk, piled floor-to-ceiling.
The Bronte house is now the property of a tech mogul, who beat out four others in what some say was a heated bidding war. The tech guy says he wants to “clean it up” and “build two nice houses” on there instead. Good for you, guy!
The news of the unsurprising-at-this-point sale comes on the same day as the release of the results of the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey, 2014, as reported by Domain.
The survey found that only two in every 100 people aged 18 to 24 owns a home, down from six in every 100 in 2002. Only 25.2% of Australians under 40 own their property, down from 31.2% in 2010.
The sharp drop in home ownership corresponds pretty neatly to the massive increase in the median house price, which went up from $485K in 2002 to $1.17 million in Sydney in June this year, although some commentators point to other contributing factors like young people studying for too long and getting married later.
It’s probably the house price thing though, considering real wages haven’t increased at all in the last four years, while house prices have grown almost 20% in just the past year.