Dickson – a surprise house sale

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A curious thing happened last weekend in the Dickson neighbourhood when a house went up for auction. This was a very ordinary house.

The house had been owned for decades by the one owner and had been successfully rented out in recent times to  string of good student tenants. The house is an original AV Jennings design with no renovations. It remains a model house of the late 1960s.

The owners had taken the real estate’s advice and spent quite a bit of money on repainting inside, new guttering and a new gate etc. The garden (what there is of it) was given a big clean-up and new pretend furniture was installed.

Even though we were not supposed to know, the neighbourhood knew that the owners were looking for about $750,000. Some thought this might be too high given the basics of the house–old style with almost original kitchen and bathroom etc.

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On the day of auction there was the usual largish crowd of the neighbours – and a few interested research buyers who attend just to observe how prices go. It turned out that there were about five real buyers.

What happened next was the surprise and you heard the reactions as the price went up. $750 was soon left in the dust as we headed for $850. There were loads of animated conversations.

But alas, just as it was a breadth away from being completed, off we went again. The final price for this very basic and original styled house was $905,000.

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The neighbourhood went home in the various directions to re-evaluate their own situations given that most have similar houses but with many extensions and most had modernized – along with much better gardens in many cases.

But I wonder just what this was all about. For one thing that side of the street happens to be zoned for apartments even though till now there has been only the one.

I venture to think that most house owners think of these things from a perspective of a house is a home. There is now a growing number of interstate people appearing at these sales who are thinking pure investment. They are in their 30s or 40s and are monied up ready to make that large investment. But to what end?

The speculation is that this quiet little house could be bulldozed for apartments or even a set of three townhouses–or maybe a McMansion (there are now several close by).

No matter what the reason for the buyer coming forth with such a huge amount for this smallish and very unfashionable house, the neighbourhood is still in quite a shock.

I had stated that $750,000 plus was probably likely given the number of families now moving into the area for schools, amenities etc. But I could not have predicted this outcome.

On another point. There is much in the media about the older generations having the houses and keeping the next generations out of the market. Not quite.

The evidence based on recent sales around Dickson shows that many people in their 30s or 40s do not stand a chance of even bidding as the price goes high straight away. But what is being noted is that within that same age range there are plenty of people who are doing very well and are ready and able to push the price up to get their house or investments.

There is a house close by that has been put out to auction twice in recent years and on both occasions someone in that same age bracket paid the high price and acquired the house before it went to auction.

I am sure the scene will be alive and well for a while yet given that houses that come onto the market in Dickson continue to go very quickly.

There are many other house sales stories from this suburb.

Dickson residents will be watching with interest for the next auction to see what happens.I am sure that sometime soon after Christmas all will be revealed. Was this a one off? Or is now the trend.

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