Skip to content Skip to main navigation

Property

Banking is our business, Community is our purpose

House sale in Dickson – a surprise for the neighbourhood

By Paul Costigan - 14 December 2016 48

auction17

A curious thing happened in the Dickson neighbourhood when a house went up for auction late last month.

This was an ordinary enough house. It had been owned for decades by the one owner and had been successfully rented out in recent times to string of good student tenants. The house is an unrenovated original AV Jennings design. It remains a model house of the late 1960s.

The owners had taken the real estate agent’s advice and spent quite a bit of money repainting it inside, adding new guttering and a new gate etc. The garden was given a big clean-up and new furniture was installed.

The word on the street was that the owners were looking for about $750,000. Some thought this might be too high given the basics of the old-style house – the almost original kitchen and bathroom etc.

auction17-3

On the day of auction, Saturday November 19, there was the usual largish crowd of the neighbours – and a few interested research buyers who attend just to observe how prices go. It turned out that there were about five real buyers.

What happened next was the surprise and you heard the reactions as the price went up. $750,000 was soon left in the dust as we headed for $850,000. There were loads of animated conversations.

But alas, just as it was a breath away from being completed, off we went again. The final price for this very basic and original styled house was $905,000.

auction17-2

The neighbourhood went home in the various directions to re-evaluate their own situations given that most had similar houses but with many extensions and most had modernized – along with much better gardens in many cases.

But I wonder just what this was all about. For one thing that side of the street happens to be zoned for apartments even though till now there has been only the one.

Most house owners think of these things from a perspective of a house is a home. There are now a growing number of interstate people appearing at these sales who are thinking pure investment. They are in their 30s or 40s and are monied up ready to make that large investment. But to what end?

The speculation is that this quiet little house could be bulldozed for apartments or even a set of three townhouses – or maybe a McMansion (there are now several close by).

No matter what the reason for the buyer coming forth with such a huge amount for this smallish and very unfashionable house, the neighbourhood is in shock.

I had stated that $750,000 plus was probably likely given the number of families now moving into the area for schools, amenities etc. But I could not have predicted this outcome.

On another point. There is much in the media about the older generations having the houses and keeping the next generations out of the market. Not quite.

The evidence based on recent sales around Dickson shows that many people in their 30s or 40s do not stand a chance of even bidding as the price goes high straight away. But within that same age range, there are plenty of people who are doing very well and are ready and able to push the price up to get their house or investments.

There is a house close by that has been put out to auction twice in recent years and on both occasions someone in that same age bracket paid the high price and acquired the house before it went to auction.

I am sure the scene will be alive and well for a while yet given that houses that come onto the market in Dickson continue to go very quickly – and the ACT Government has been pushing apartments at the cost of new standalone houses.

There are many other house sales stories from this suburb.

Dickson residents will be watching the next auction with interest.

It would be good to hear from others who watch the property sales in their suburb.

Was this a one off? Is it now normal for the inner north? Or is it the trend across all more established suburbs?

What’s Your opinion?


Post a comment
Please login to post your comments, or connect with
48 Responses to
House sale in Dickson – a surprise for the neighbourhood
Heavs 11:50 am 14 Dec 16

Holden Caulfield said :

Why would anyone want to buy in Dickson? From all I read on Riot ACT this suburb is at the mercy of out of touch government planners who have left the suburb facing armageddon. If I believed everything I read on these pages I’d believe that people were rushing to sell and would take any money they could get.

Or it could just be that there are many people, who can afford it, who want to live in suburbs that are relatively inner and are willing to accept some compromises on amenity due to the convenience of living closer to the city. Even if, shock and horror, there are (apparently) no trees, no open space and concrete jungles awaiting to demonise the Dickson Shops.

These guys who bought clearly never read up on the imminent destruction of the ‘Dickson Parklands’ … environmental vandalism on the scale of the clearing of the Amazon and the bleaching of the Barrier Reef.

Holden Caulfield 10:28 am 14 Dec 16

Why would anyone want to buy in Dickson? From all I read on Riot ACT this suburb is at the mercy of out of touch government planners who have left the suburb facing armageddon. If I believed everything I read on these pages I’d believe that people were rushing to sell and would take any money they could get.

Or it could just be that there are many people, who can afford it, who want to live in suburbs that are relatively inner and are willing to accept some compromises on amenity due to the convenience of living closer to the city. Even if, shock and horror, there are (apparently) no trees, no open space and concrete jungles awaiting to demonise the Dickson Shops.

tuffmouse 9:55 am 14 Dec 16

Why does the Riot Act focus on the Dickson area so much?

dungfungus 9:23 am 14 Dec 16

dungfungus said :

Paul Costigan said :

Just to add to this story.

This house is actually well outside the designated 800 metre corridor that planners have used to define the areas to be directly impacted by the tram – where the zoning has already been changed in many cases to allow for apartments.

The zoning on this small section of Dickson, east of the shops and Cowper street was slipped through about ten years ago and no-one in the suburb realised till the first DA for apartments appeared – being the famous Marsden St case. (which the residents won – and the builder ended up building a far better quality set and small number of apartments – good result).

It would be longish walk to the Tram from this house – you would catch a bus instead. As to paying a lot for a modest house and then demolishing it – it has been done before. But we are yet to find out what the future ifs for the house.

Another case in Dickson – this time closer to the tram – in the higher zoned area west of Cowper near Northbourne – a house had been extensively renovated recently – it was a good job – looked good.

Alas it has just been sold (I expect a knock on the door with an offer they could not refuse) and the notice is up for demolition – along with the house next door. I would have expected a very high price for that one given the new extensions and the tram being a block away etc.

But this other one over here in the eastern part of Dickson remains a surprise – it may point to things to come. We wait the next auction to see if there is a new pattern even for houses away from the tram.

Do you real think people want to live in little boxes so they can catch a tram?

Our city planners are deluded.

I meant to say “leaky” little boxes.

Those who have an apartment in Canberra will understand what I am talking about.

tuffmouse 9:15 am 14 Dec 16

rommeldog56 said :

chewy14 said :

There’s no surprise here, this is the start of the ratepayer provided gift of tens of thousands of dollars to homeowners who live near the light rail. People who already on average have significant levels of assets and are now being gifted much more from their poorer outer suburban citizens. And to think we have supposed “left” wing parties in power, promoting this “equity”.

Well said.

And where does this leave affordable housing / housing affordability in the ACT.

I have never seen the community become so greatly divided and polarised over the Tram, its associated induced development and Annual Rates/Levies. Very sad.

But, I suppose this is what ACT voters and Ratepayers voted for, which is also, very sad.

So correct.

tuffmouse 9:13 am 14 Dec 16

Light rail was never about the environment. It was all about real estate gains. Poorer areas are ripped off.

dungfungus 9:01 am 14 Dec 16

Paul Costigan said :

Just to add to this story.

This house is actually well outside the designated 800 metre corridor that planners have used to define the areas to be directly impacted by the tram – where the zoning has already been changed in many cases to allow for apartments.

The zoning on this small section of Dickson, east of the shops and Cowper street was slipped through about ten years ago and no-one in the suburb realised till the first DA for apartments appeared – being the famous Marsden St case. (which the residents won – and the builder ended up building a far better quality set and small number of apartments – good result).

It would be longish walk to the Tram from this house – you would catch a bus instead. As to paying a lot for a modest house and then demolishing it – it has been done before. But we are yet to find out what the future ifs for the house.

Another case in Dickson – this time closer to the tram – in the higher zoned area west of Cowper near Northbourne – a house had been extensively renovated recently – it was a good job – looked good.

Alas it has just been sold (I expect a knock on the door with an offer they could not refuse) and the notice is up for demolition – along with the house next door. I would have expected a very high price for that one given the new extensions and the tram being a block away etc.

But this other one over here in the eastern part of Dickson remains a surprise – it may point to things to come. We wait the next auction to see if there is a new pattern even for houses away from the tram.

Do you real think people want to live in little boxes so they can catch a tram?

Our city planners are deluded.

dungfungus 8:58 am 14 Dec 16

chewy14 said :

There’s no surprise here, this is the start of the ratepayer provided gift of tens of thousands of dollars to homeowners who live near the light rail. People who already on average have significant levels of assets and are now being gifted much more from their poorer outer suburban citizens. And to think we have supposed “left” wing parties in power, promoting this “equity”.

And as for the talk about the age of people buying these properties, one or two auctions does not make data. Older households still hold the significant bulk of housing stock in this country aided and abetted by successive government’s providing extremely generous tax treatment for them to invest heavily in the sector and reduce their tax bill.

I am one in those “older households” and I wasn’t aware there were generous tax benefits available for me when I had there jobs concurrently to save enough to buy my first house.

I paid tax on all three wages too. Now the government and opposition want to knock off my superannuation which I worked hard for and paid a lot of tax during accumulation.

I didn’t learn about this “negative gearing” thing until much later in life but reading up about it now it would be beneficial to the majority of Australian taxpayers and prospective first home buyers if negative gearing was totally banned and all tax concessions associated with it are withdrawn.

A lot of Australians are losing old age pensions/part pensions on 1/1/17 following a means-testing review of the government.
This was a rort for a lot of people too but no one seems to care so how about following through with withdrawing negative gearing?

I am sure no one will care about that either.

devils_advocate 8:55 am 14 Dec 16

In about the year 2000, in the wake of the Asian financial crisis, I paid “well over the odds” for a new construction in a desirable suburb. Everyone that knew me – and some that didn’t – assured me I was insane and was going to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars. It was around $250k for a brand new 180sqm house on what is now classified as a ‘large block’, once all landscaping and fitoff was taken into account. To be honest I did have some doubts in my quieter moments.
Since then nothing that happens in the property market surprises me.
BTW, a couple in secure middle-management jobs in the APS can together pretty easily raise the $1m required for this home together with purchasing costs. Whether they should or not is another question.

Paul Costigan 8:41 am 14 Dec 16

Just to add to this story.

This house is actually well outside the designated 800 metre corridor that planners have used to define the areas to be directly impacted by the tram – where the zoning has already been changed in many cases to allow for apartments.

The zoning on this small section of Dickson, east of the shops and Cowper street was slipped through about ten years ago and no-one in the suburb realised till the first DA for apartments appeared – being the famous Marsden St case. (which the residents won – and the builder ended up building a far better quality set and small number of apartments – good result).

It would be longish walk to the Tram from this house – you would catch a bus instead. As to paying a lot for a modest house and then demolishing it – it has been done before. But we are yet to find out what the future ifs for the house.

Another case in Dickson – this time closer to the tram – in the higher zoned area west of Cowper near Northbourne – a house had been extensively renovated recently – it was a good job – looked good.

Alas it has just been sold (I expect a knock on the door with an offer they could not refuse) and the notice is up for demolition – along with the house next door. I would have expected a very high price for that one given the new extensions and the tram being a block away etc.

But this other one over here in the eastern part of Dickson remains a surprise – it may point to things to come. We wait the next auction to see if there is a new pattern even for houses away from the tram.

rommeldog56 8:24 am 14 Dec 16

chewy14 said :

There’s no surprise here, this is the start of the ratepayer provided gift of tens of thousands of dollars to homeowners who live near the light rail. People who already on average have significant levels of assets and are now being gifted much more from their poorer outer suburban citizens. And to think we have supposed “left” wing parties in power, promoting this “equity”.

Well said. And where does this leave affordable housing / housing affordability in the ACT.

I have never seen the community become so greatly divided and polarised over the Tram, its associated induced development and Annual Rates/Levies. Very sad. But, I suppose this is what ACT voters and Ratepayers voted for, which is also, very sad.

dungfungus 7:54 am 14 Dec 16

If the property is going to be knocked down for redevelopment why on earth would the selling agent give advice to the seller to spend money on redecorating it?

One would think that the local real estate industry, who are one of the stakeholders in the government’s plan to turn Dickson into a soviet style apartment ghetto, would know what was going on.

How about someone tracks down the purchaser/s and see what motivated them to pay the amount of money involved?

dungfungus 7:48 am 14 Dec 16

In the past few weeks, several properties in the Red Hill, Forrest and Yarralumla suburbs have been sold for well over $2 million.

The reports in the Canberra Times reveal the purchasers as all being “young couples with families”.

Aren’t these the same demographic that are always whinging that they can’t afford to get their first house?

chewy14 7:45 am 14 Dec 16

There’s no surprise here, this is the start of the ratepayer provided gift of tens of thousands of dollars to homeowners who live near the light rail. People who already on average have significant levels of assets and are now being gifted much more from their poorer outer suburban citizens. And to think we have supposed “left” wing parties in power, promoting this “equity”.

And as for the talk about the age of people buying these properties, one or two auctions does not make data. Older households still hold the significant bulk of housing stock in this country aided and abetted by successive government’s providing extremely generous tax treatment for them to invest heavily in the sector and reduce their tax bill.

Charlotte Harper 7:26 am 14 Dec 16

This auction result doesn’t surprise me at all. Given the light rail is now going ahead and the Northbourne corridor is being completely revamped, I would expect prices in the area to boom. In areas where land is zoned for apartments, houses will be snapped up for the land alone and bulldozed to make way for new developments. Houses in Kingston were bought for twice what they’d cost their owners only a couple of years earlier when that suburb was mostly transformed into apartments and townhouses. I miss those houses, and am glad there are still a few streets of them about so we can see what the suburb was like in the 1920s.

1 2 3 4

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2017 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
www.the-riotact.com | www.b2bmagazine.com.au | www.thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site