Owners desperate to sell 'House of Horrors' site

The house, which has subsequently been burned down, where Tisha Lowry and Rebecca Somerville were murdered. Photo / APN
The house, which has subsequently been burned down, where Tisha Lowry and Rebecca Somerville were murdered. Photo / APN

The "house of horrors" property in Christchurch where two women were brutally murdered and buried under floorboards is on the market.

Owners say the Aranui site has been a "nightmare" since the double tragedy, and they want to walk away from it.

They are trying to sell the section on the corner of Hampshire St and Wainoni Rd for around $55,000. It has a rateable value of $57,200.

Jason Somerville murdered his wife Rebecca and neighbour Tisha Lowry at the state house in 2009 before disposing of the bodies under the floorboards.

He was sentenced to life in prison last year, but since the murders the property has blighted the area.

It had been targeted on several occasions by arsonists after threats from locals they were going to burn it down.

Residents spoke of their relief when the fire-destroyed property came down last January.

One neighbour, Shanita Araipo-Hall, said: "Looking at it daily is not cool."

Mayor Bob Parker had revealed a city council interest in buying the property for a public reserve.

The site has been divided into two sections and both owners are desperate to sell.

The Gisborne-based owners of the front section have placed it on auction site Trade Me for inquiries over $55,000 after getting "fed up waiting" for the council to buy it.

It invites potential buyers to "Have a look and walk around at any time".

It goes on to say "this section is in the green zone and would be perfect to relocate a house to or build new".

Owners Jason and Christina Drain are desperate to sell. Mr Drain, who posted the sale on Friday, said: "The whole thing has been a nightmare. We just want rid of it."

Despite the price, he said: "We've not had any interest at this stage."

The city council still hopes to buy the site.

Spokesman Michael Aitken said: "The council has been attempting to purchase both sections and had made an offer to each of the two owners, conditional upon both sections being sold.

"Our hope was that the offers would be accepted and that staff could then make a positive recommendation to the community board and then they in turn could recommend to council to purchase. The intent was to hold the land, if purchased, as a small park.

"At all times in the process, the council has made it clear that the parties were under no obligation to sell to us and were free to go to the market."

- APNZ

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_n2 at 25 Jul 2014 01:34:55 Processing Time: 581ms