Auckland couple Donald and Jenny Gibbs paid just $125,000 for a $1.57 million four-bedroom Grammar zone character Greenlane house yesterday.
The house, on a 1012sq m section at 78 Wheturangi Rd, was advertised as an urgent sale with a $1 reserve. It is on Cornwall Park Trust Board land, drawing an annual $37,500 leasehold fee.
"Happy wife, happy life," said Mr Gibbs, a Ray White apartment agent, as he signed the sale and purchase agreement.
"I bought it for the fireplace," said Mrs Gibbs, telling how the family with two sons aged 18 and 21 had been renting at Chatswood on the North Shore, where they paid $670 a week.
"Now I can paint whenever I want," she said.
Instead of rent, the Gibbs will now pay $721 a week leasehold land fees to the board, which owns the land the house sits on.
But that does not bother them.
"You can pay the mortgage off relatively fast," Mr Gibbs said of the cheap entry price for such a property.
They beat other keen buyers who drove the bidding up fast.
Barfoot agent Tony Keegan said the now Melbourne-based owners simply wanted to quit the place.
But $1 was never going to buy it - $10,000 was initially sought as an opening bid, dropping to $5000 when the room went quiet.
Before the auction, Mr Keegan questioned whether the owners would get the $95,000 they had paid in October 2010.
"But I think it will sell for rather more than $1 although that was its advertised reserve," Mr Keegan said.
The renovated family home has high ceilings, leadlight windows, polished wooden floors and a freestanding fireplace. It is a leasehold property and the ground rent stays the same until 2026.
Small dwellings pop up to add value for owners
Hundreds of new small dwellings are springing up across Auckland.
James Wilson, QV homevalue Auckland valuer, said that in the past 12 to 18 months, valuers had noticed a big jump in the number of smaller new places being built on sites which previously had only one house.
"The construction of minor household units is becoming increasingly popular as people look to capitalise on strong demand for rental properties," he said.
Owners of properties in south and west Auckland showed the biggest appetite for the activity.
"It's generally done to increase the return or help with mortgage repayments on an owner-occupied property. There is strong demand for home and income properties which provide multiple units of income, increasing returns for investors or aiding owner-occupiers with mortgage repayments," he said.
Auckland QV data out yesterday showed houses in eight Auckland suburbs topped national value rises, up 17.9 per cent annually. Properties in Blockhouse Bay, One Tree Hill, Sandringham, Mt Albert, Mt Roskill, Otahuhu, Onehunga and Mt Wellington rose faster in value than elsewhere in New Zealand in the latest period. Realestate.co.nz also released data showing the national average asking price hit a new record of $514,712, and Auckland's average was $766,912.