A downtown Auckland apartment with waterfront views has sold for $20,000 - and no, you aren't reading that wrong.

The one-bedroom apartment features a modern kitchen and bathroom, study, open plan lounge and unobscured sea views from its "huge" 13th-floor balcony north to Devonport and Rangitoto beyond.

Located in the Scene 1 Building at 2 Beach Rd, it is just a short stroll from Wynyard Quarter and Britomart in one direction and the Spark Arena in the other.

Auckland Council currently values the apartment at $550,000. It last sold in 2002 for $311,200, according to property website OneRoof.

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The apartment features an open-plan kitchen and lounge. Photo / Supplied
The apartment features an open-plan kitchen and lounge. Photo / Supplied

Auctioned yesterday by the City Sales agency, the apartment attracted an opening bid of $10,000, selling agent James Mairs confirmed.

With only one bidder, the price was eventually driven up to $20,000 before selling.

The apartment is also likely to be rented out for a price up to $600 a week, City Sales managing director Martin Dunn said.

So is this the bargain of the century?

Well, City Sales had earlier advertised the apartment as "vacant and abandoned" and "Aussie owner wants it gone".

It also comes with a bedroom and study and should attract rent of $600 per week. Photo / Supplied
It also comes with a bedroom and study and should attract rent of $600 per week. Photo / Supplied

"This apartment is not for the faint-hearted but risk takers could be handsomely rewarded," the advertisement further stated.

The apartment was also only for sale as a leasehold. This comes with an annual ground rent of $6745 and a special levy of $5228, City Sales said.

A further $4417 per year would be charged for Operating Expenses along with $1575 in annual rates.

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Building owners are also embroiled in a legal case. The building needs repairs but owners are unable to get clarity on the extent of the remediation work, Dunn said.

Further complicating matters is that the building does not have a traditional body corporate management structure, meaning its owners have limited power.

It's not all sunshine, however, as the building does need remediation work. Photo / Supplied
It's not all sunshine, however, as the building does need remediation work. Photo / Supplied

Many were also foreign owners, like the seller of the apartment at yesterday's auction.

"We're told it's like herding cats to get agreement on things, there is a fight going on over the new ground rent and, believe it or not, we have had a series of Australasian owners stunned when we explain to them their investments are leasehold," Dunn said.

"Australians don't know what leasehold is."

Dunn said the Aussie owner of the apartment that sold yesterday had simply had enough.

"This vendor fortunately was a very wealthy Melbourne doctor, currently on a yacht off Genoa and he was so fatigued with it all he just said dump it," Dunn said.

The new buyer, on the other hand, already owned an apartment in the building and so had "weighed the risk pretty knowledgeably".

Dunn said City Sales refused to sell any of the apartments off the plans when they were brand new because the company "could see a fiasco developing".

"[However], we are expert at reselling complex situations like this," he said.