Seller says final price exceeded his expectations and he wouldn't rule out doing it again

It could have been one of the world's cheapest homes with no reserve price at auction, but instead estate agent Trevor Palmer's Hamilton property sold for a respectable $232,000.

The three-bedroom house in Frankton was not as as big a steal as bargain hunters in Lodge Real Estate's crowded auction room yesterday would have been hoping for.

But Hamilton grandmother of four Anne-Marie Wilsem was still confident she had got a good buy as she fended off other serious competition.

The real bargain hunters were quickly ruled out as the bidding jumped up in steep increments from $1, to $25,000 and then $200,000. A nervous Ms Wilsem hung on as the price crept closer to its $240,000 capital value - as she and a man in the back row battled it out before it was finally sold under the hammer at $232,000.


There were seven registered bidders either at the auction or bidding by phone.

The hospital nurse first learned about the novel auction in the Herald last week and within three days of attending an open home on Sunday she had bought her second rental property.

"I thought I admire that guy [Mr Palmer] for doing that, he obviously takes risks and so do I and I had been looking around for something else."

Despite not securing the $1 bargain some had dreamed of, Ms Wilsem felt the three-bedroom brick property, which had been recently revamped, was still a good buy.

"I'd been keeping an eye on the market but I liked that one because it was solid, it had just had a revamp, which saves you money, and it was tidy. I was hoping ... you know, as you do, but anything between $220,000 and $230,000. So $2000 over is not too bad." She already had a tenant in mind to move in when she takes possession later this month.

The seller, Trevor Palmer, a real estate agent at Lodge's Rototuna branch, admitted he was probably just as anxious as Ms Wilsem.

However, he said the final price exceeded his expectations and he wouldn't rule out doing it again as it was a guaranteed sale. Mr Palmer's property was the only one of three that went under the hammer yesterday that sold on the spot.

Market facts
* National median house price: rose $9000 from $361,000 to $370,000 in August
* Hamilton's median house price: decreased $8820 to $330,000 in August.
* Number of homes sold in Hamilton in August: 230