Two neighbouring state homes in need of "extreme makeovers" have reached $1.9 million at auction.
Numbers 94 and 96 Haverstock Rd are the first of 19 properties in the street to be sold by Housing New Zealand.
The corporation says it's too costly to develop the rundown homes in the flourishing suburb of Sandringham.
House prices and the tone of the street are expected to be boosted following the two sales and the upcoming sales of the remaining 17.
The other homes, described as an eyesore because of boarded-up windows and graffiti-covered walls, are to be demolished and the land sold separately in March to make way for new, private developments.
A packed Bayleys auction room included several bidders yesterday morning, with 94 Haverstock selling for $1.05 million - $350,000 or 50 per cent above its valuation of $700,000.
Both homes sold to Chinese buyers planning to renovate and live in them.
The listing for number 94, a four-bedroom 1950s weatherboard house sitting on a 938sq m section, said the property was "screaming out to be saved by you".
Interior pictures show patchy orange carpet, ripped wallpaper and dated fixtures, and its garden was overgrown.
It was sold to a couple - a doctor at Auckland City Hospital and an IT worker - with two children.
They told the Herald they plan to subdivide the section, letting the house and building a new one for themselves behind it. They live nearby in Euston Rd and plan to keep and let their present house.
The wife said: "We didn't want to move too far. We've lived in the area for quite a while and we love it here."
Number 96, listed as "in need of an extreme makeover", sold for $860,000 - $200,000 or 30 per cent above its valuation of $660,000.
The listing shows dirty walls, a boarded-up fireplace and missing curtains. The new owners, friends Rick Niu and Tim Xiao, plan to renovate the home. Mr Xiao is to move into the house with his pregnant wife.
Housing activist Sue Henry was at the auction protesting against the sale and tenants having to be moved to other state homes.
Meanwhile, a former two-bedroom, one-bathroom state house on 330sq m at 158 Coates Ave in Orakei sold at auction for $775,000 - $285,000 or 58 per cent above its capital value of $490,000.
94 Haverstock Rd
Bought by: Chinese couple with two children
1950s weatherboard, 938sq m section, 113sq m floor, 4 bed, 1 bath
96 Haverstock Rd
Bought by: Chinese couple expecting a baby
1950s weatherboard, 938sq m section, 101sq m floor, 3 bed, 1 bath