Rates bill house fails to sell with bidders keen for bargain
AN audacious opening bid of $1000 for a property at 234 Auckland St being sold by council to recover outstanding rates was knocked back at an auction on Wednesday, although the property could still go for a basement price after being passed in at $175,000.
Considering the median sale price at South Gladstone as of March this year was $528,000, according to RP Data, it was no surprise about 20 bidders turned up to the arrears auction at the Gladstone Entertainment Centre in the hope of snaffling a bargain.
The selling of properties in arrears is a fairly rare occurrence, according to Gladstone Regional Council chief financial officer Mark Holmes.
"Council, as a recovery of its debt, has the ability to sell properties that actually are over four years in arrears, and generally what we find is the mortgagees generally protect their interests and properties don't progress down the sale path," Mr Holmes said.
"Unfortunately this is the first time in the last couple of years that we've had to go down this path, but it's the way that I guess the balance of the ratepayers see the debt settled."
With the South Gladstone median price at the highest level since December 2013, opportunistic bidders were eager to secure a deal, but auctioneer Andre Taute rejected an opening bid of $1000 and asked bidders to be reasonable.
Bids went in $10,000 instalments up to $160,000, when offers of $5000 began to come in, before the property was passed in to the last bidder remaining for further negotiation.
Mr Holmes said Wednesday's auction was only the fourth of its kind in the past five years in Gladstone, but said there were plenty of options available to landholders.
"Absolutely we try and work with ratepayers all the way along through the process and we work with anyone who has outstanding rates," Mr Holmes said.
A second property up for grabs at 12 Pleasant Ave, Tannum Sands was saved from the auction block after the owner paid the outstanding rates.
Resident angry at state of property being auctioned
AN angry resident is frustrated it took a council auction before the Auckland St property was cleaned up.
Auckland St resident Pedro Wakefield said the "ugly piece of viewing" needed cleaning for more than just aesthetic reasons.
"It's been an eyesore all the time, never been mowed except for about eight weeks ago," Mr Wakefield said.
"I reckon it's dangerous for snakes and such in there and even for children getting in there right, they could be burning things in there too."
Council auctioned the property after the owner failed to pay rates for several years.
Mr Wakefield said the property had appeared abandoned for more than six months, and he had only seen it mowed once.
"Well I reckon if (home owners) do own houses they should come here and tidy the property up... and make it look respectable," Mr Wakefield said.