Sydney auctions: burnt inner west house used as drug lab sells for nearly $500,000 over reserve

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Real Estate

A former drug lab with no roof sold at auction.

An inner west house used as an alleged drug lab before it went up in flames four years ago sold at auction Saturday for nearly $500,000 over the reserve price.

The fire-damaged house on The Parade in Enfield had no roof and went under the hammer with a $920,000 reserve but sold in front of a crowd of about 70 people for $1.38 million.

It was reported the two-level home had previously been used to grow marijuana but it was not known how the fire was started. Police called to the scene had identified it as “suspicious”, according to 2016 media reports.

There was no roof over much of the single-level, front section of the home and the upstairs rooms at the back were caked with smoke stains.

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Soccer ball sized ventilation holes were scattered throughout the house which were understood to have been used for the cultivation of the marijuana.

Other parts of the home were covered with debris and vandals had tagged some of the walls after breaking in.

The house sold for slightly above the median price for the area, despite the condition.

House Fire Enfield

It is not known how the fire started. Picture: Bill Hearne

With 23 buyers registered to bid for the home on a 638sqm block, the price was marginally higher than the $1.32 million median price of houses in Enfield, according to realestate.com.au data.

Selling agent Aaron Papadimatos of Devine Real Estate said the property had been left vacant in the years following the fire and was well-known among the local community.

The landlord owner had been renting out the property at the time of the fire and the marijuana was alleged to have been grown by the tenants, Mr Papadimatos said.

“We heard the tenants were using a lot of electricity,” he said.

The auction attracted a crowd of about 70 people.

The owner became bankrupt in the years after the fire and the property was sold by receivers.

Many of the active bidders were builders and some wore high visibility vests during the auction. Attendees were not permitted to go inside the home before the auction due to the damage.

Bidding started at $800,000 and more than 20 bids were placed.

The buyers were a family hoping to move into the property after restoring the house or knocking it down and replacing it with something new.

The front section of the house had no roof.

The house was uninhabitable.

Some 60 buyers requested contracts of sale for the house.

They told the Sunday Telegraph they had yet to decide which option to take but had a larger budget than many of the builders because they didn’t need to make a profit.

Mr Papadimatos was required by law to disclose the property’s history as a “material fact” but said this failed to dissuade any of the keen buyers.

House Fire Enfield

Neighbours had to evacuate their homes when the house was ablaze.

Real Estate

The house pictured before the fire.

The agent said he had drove past the property many times before getting the listing and had always been curious what price it would get.

“The market is pretty steady at the moment … this price was unexpected.”

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