A potential health hazard that comes complete with rotting floorboards and nicotine-caked walls sold for $1.075 million this afternoon.

The ramshackle Grey Lynn villas at 2 Leighton St sold at auction.

Five groups, including a phone bidder, battled for the rundown two-bedroom property, with bidding starting at $900,000.

About 50 people watched as the house went under the hammer at Barfoot and Thompson's auction house in Auckland's CBD.


The late-1800s two-bedroom settler's cottage was being touted as "the worst condition house in the best suburb".

The highest bidder was a young man who left the building within minutes of the sale.

Agent Kirk Vogel said he did not know who the buyer was, but he said the vendor was "pretty happy" with the price the house had reached.

"It was a level at which they were prepared to sell."

Mr Vogel said he thought $1.075m was fair for a Grey Lynn home and he would be interested to see what the buyer would do with it.

Builder Wayne McDade and his property developer father Murphy, who also bid on the property, stopped at $1.07m.

Wayne said he was expecting the house to go for a high price, but $1.075 it was more than they were willing to spend.

"If it's within budget it works, it's not really often places like that come up in Grey Lynn."


He said he would have done up the house and sold it on.

The deceased estate had a 2011 valuation of $690,000, almost all of which was for its 381sq m of land. Real Estate Institute figures show the median sale price last month for the fashionable Grey Lynn postcode was $1,067,500.

The freehold property has no electricity or running water, with a rusting gas oven sitting marooned in the filthy kitchen.

The lounge walls are stained yellow with years of nicotine build-up, and weeds spill from the outside guttering.

Photo / Jason Oxenham

"This is the worst house I've ever sold," Mr Vogel admitted to the Herald before the sale. "But this house has got a story. There's a lot to be said for a house having a soul and a story."

About 45 people have viewed the property since it was listed two weeks ago, though Mr Vogel had said the response was "average".

Marketing material declared the character home had "seen better days", with years of deferred maintenance and the elements taking their toll. "There's more to do here than just a paint and paper, the kitchen is well past its best and the holes in the floor provide great natural air conditioning for the summer months."

Photo / Jason Oxenham