BARGAIN BASEMENT: What is possibly Gympie's cheapest house is well on the way to having new owners after a council auction for rates arrears.
BARGAIN BASEMENT: What is possibly Gympie's cheapest house is well on the way to having new owners after a council auction for rates arrears.

Could this be Gympie's cheapest house?

PROBABLY Gympie's cheapest house, this renovator's dream at 41 Clematis St, was passed in at Friday's Gympie Regional Council rates arrears auction, attracting a top initial bid of only $91,000.

That was followed by quiet negotiations, with the price then crawling up to $100,000 at the resumption of bidding.

This gave the successful bidder the right to negotiate a sale with the council.

The final sale price, settled on after those private talks, has not been disclosed, but is thought to be not a lot more than the final bid.

Real estate sources say that under the rules applying to council rates auctions, the council is under pressure to get a sale, the alternative being that if negotiations are unsuccessful, the council has to take over the property.

This puts the buyer in a strong position, unless the council thinks it can sell the property for a better price by other means.

Auctioneer Graham Engeman, of Gympie Regional Realty battled slow and reluctant bidding from about 18 determined but hard-to-please bargain hunters.

The small and venerable cottage, obviously needing extensive but not impossible renovation, sits on a 1012sq.m block.

"It probably needs a little TLC,” Mr Engeman declared.

Bidding crawled up slowly from an initial bid of $20,000, rising to $70,000, then $75,000 then $77,000, then $80,000, as Mr Engeman did an auctioneer's version of pulling teeth, fighting for every $1000 increment.

The house was one of three properties offered at the auction, after many other owners finally paid what they owed, some at almost the last minute.

It was accompanied by a vacant lot of 2023sq.m at Kilkivan, which no-one was much interested in.

It was passed in after only one unenthusiastic bid of $500.

Then came 32.38ha, with house, in the relatively remote Black Snake district.

"It has timber on it,” Mr Engeman declared.

"If you are a nature lover, you can hug a different tree every day.”

It attracted an initial bid of $10,000, with bidding suspended at $17,000 and, on resumption after negotiations, reaching $20,000.

It is not known if that property was eventually sold.

Mr Engeman complimented the council on its handling of the properties, which have all come to auction after their owners became more than three-years behind in their rates and charges payments.

"There were initially 100 properties and it is now down to three, a good outcome achieved by the council,” he said.

The council had been open to payment arrangements with owners right through the process, he said.

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