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Derelict inner Sydney terrace sells for $85,000 below 2017 price after vendor abandons renovation

Sydney’s WORST house sells for $1.025million despite it being in an ‘unliveable’ condition – but here’s why it’s new owners actually got a bargain

  • Redfern terrace sells for $1.025million, $85k less than it sold for five years ago
  • The vendor decided to ditch ambitious plans to renovate the unliveable house 
  • The home was the subject of an unusual legal case over squatter’s rights in 2017

The derelict inner city terrace that was the subject of a row over squatter’s rights has been sold for a big loss after the owner abandoned renovation plans.

The ‘unliveable’ two-bedroom house, at 544 Elizabeth Street, Redfern, sold for $1.025million on Saturday, $85,000 less than the vendor bought it for in 2017.

The house, which had been stripped back to little more than a frame in places, sold for almost half a million dollars less than the mid-range estimates on the sale price. 

After a previous owner disappeared left Australia the house was left to crumble and became the subject of a high-profile squatter’s rights claim in 2017.

The derelict inner city terrace that was the subject of a row over squatter’s rights has been sold for a big loss after the owner abandoned renovation plans

The 'unliveable' two-bedroom house at 544 Elizabeth Street, Redfern, sold for $1.025million on Saturday, $85,000 less than the vendor bought it for in 2017

The ‘unliveable’ two-bedroom house at 544 Elizabeth Street, Redfern, sold for $1.025million on Saturday, $85,000 less than the vendor bought it for in 2017

The selling agent, Mark Foy, of Belle Property Surry Hills, told realestate.com the sale was a good result in the circumstances.

He said the prices of building materials and construction work itself had soared in recent months.

Although the owner has recently received council approval for a second storey to be added and a third bedroom, he had ditched plans to finish the planned work.

The vendor decided to ditch ambitious plans to renovate the unliveable house

The vendor decided to ditch ambitious plans to renovate the unliveable house

Instead the vendor had decided on moving to another property that required less work.

Mr Foy added that ‘Thirty to 40 per cent of our buyer pool was out the market’.

After a previous owner disappeared left Australia the house was left to crumble and became the subject of a high-profile squatter's rights claim in 2017

After a previous owner disappeared left Australia the house was left to crumble and became the subject of a high-profile squatter’s rights claim in 2017

All registered bidders at the auction were understood to be builders.

Records showed the property sold for $143,000 in a private treaty sale in 1991.

The buyer is understood to have been Chinese-born Australian Paul Fuh, who is reported to have left for Hong Kong in 2007 and shown any interest in the property since.

In the intervening years a Sydney banker launched a claim for adverse possession on the basis he claimed to have been living in the property for 10 years.

The man, Andrew James, had intended to renovate the home and rent it out but lost when his claim went to the NSW Supreme Court.

He was opposed by a neighbour, Gerard Knapp, who claimed the condition of 544 Elizabeth Street was so bad it produced an infestation at his adjacent house and structured damage.

Mr Knapp won a court order to have the property sold to recover his costs after his property suffered water damage because of the condition of the dilapidated neigbouring house.

It sold for $1.11million in 2017. 

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk