Jail

Dump next to Long Bay jail sells for ’crazy’ price

PHOTO: Long Bay Jail. FILE

A rundown house that shares a wall with one of Sydney’s most notorious prisons has sold for more than $900,000 over reserve at an auction described as “emotionally charged”.

Auctioneer James Kurley at an auction directly next door to Long Bay Correctional Complex. Picture: Tim Hunter

Auctioneer James Kurley at an auction directly next door to Long Bay Correctional Complex. Picture: Tim Hunter

A dilapidated house that shares a wall with Long Bay prison has sold for nearly $900,000 over reserve amid a rush from buyers to secure homes before Christmas.

The Malabar house on Austral St was expected to sell for around the $1.6 million-$1.7 million mark, but strong competition from two committed bidders pushed the price to $2,505,000.

There were eight registered bidders and selling agent Clay Brodie of Ray White-Woollahra said the auction “went crazy”.

“It was an emotionally charged auction,” he said. “It went way above what we expected.”

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The agent told The Sunday Telegraph before the auction that $1.6 million was a reasonable price for the property and was set as the reserve.

A price of $2.5 million was more in line with well-presented houses on surrounding streets that were not directly next to the correctional facility, Mr Brodie said.

“Sharing a wall with the jail, it’s different. Some people didn’t know how that would work, but others didn’t mind,” Mr Brodie said.

He added it was a noisy site due to constant announcements over the prison loudspeaker and the house was literally a stone’s throw from one of the prison yards.

Inmates at the prison include former Auburn deputy mayor Salim Mehajer, former police sergeant and convicted murderer Roger Rogerson and serial gang rapist Bilal Skaf.

Mr Brodie said the location near the prison was an attractive point for some buyers who figured it may be an opportunity to get into the rising Malabar market at a lower price.

The property get noise from the prison announcements.

The property get noise from the prison announcements.

The property was also an attractive development site due to the 24m of frontage, but developers sat back during the auction and families put down the most aggressive bids.

Auctioneer James Kurley received an opening bid of $1.6 million, in line with the reserve, and four of the registered parties made bids.

Mr Brodie said the property needed a lot of work. “You would have to redo everything, the floors, ceilings, roofing. You are almost better off knocking it down, you’d spend more money renovating.”

The buyers were understood to be a family planning to knock the home down and replace it with a modern home at some point in the future.

There was strong interest from families wanting to build a new home. Picture: Tim Hunter.

There was strong interest from families wanting to build a new home. Picture: Tim Hunter.

Mr Brodie said the buyers believed the prison would be repurposed to housing and cafes in years to come and were prepared to play “the long game”.

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