This Pile Of Crap House That Held A Dead Body For Eight Years Has Sold For $1.1 Million
SYDNEY. STOP IT.
Despite the devaluation of the dollar, increasing worth of assets/investments, and other things which seem vaguely like magic to me, the term ‘millionaire’ still carries a certain weight for most people. Australia may have more of them than ever before, but y’know, we’re the lucky country. I presume they all still have a McDonalds in their home and a special room reserved exclusively for diving into pools of (decidedly not liquid) money. They’re millionaires. Decades of pop cultural education has assured me that not even the laws of physics can hold them back.
That is unless they live in present-day Sydney: an uber trendy world-class city in which they’re forced to reside in hollowed out misery shacks full of broken dreams and remnants of undiscovered human corpses.
As reported by Domain, the above small house with no functional kitchen in Sydney’s prized inner-city suburb of Surry Hills last night sold at auction for $1.1 million. Openly described as “uninhabitable”, the property came under “fierce bidding” from a crowd of approximately 120. Bids for the derelict shanty of horror started at $600,000 and were expected to max out at $700,000, but instead they powered on, fuelled by the desperation of 10 active parties who presumably agreed with the description in the listing. It was “a phenomenal chance to create a modern masterpiece”.
At this point it’s important to note I wasn’t being glib when I mentioned “undiscovered human corpses”. The “phenomenal” opportunity given by the house’s relatively low asking price is partially due to the fact its previous owner died there in 2003. And was discovered in 2011.
“Lots of people die in their homes,” estate agent Corrinne Olsen told Domain with a straight face. “We sell deceased estates all the time … people are quite open minded.”
While the idea of a human body decomposing in your living room for the better part of a decade is off-putting enough, the details of this particular death give it a uniquely unshakeable sense of tragedy. The previous owner of the house, Natalie Wood, lived there on-and-off since her birth in 1924. She was “a former war bride” and a “recluse in her later life”. Though she was described as pleasant by those around her, she never really kept much company, and her body was only found eight years after her death by police. When they collected the remains “her bones fit neatly inside a drawer and two jars marked ‘HANDS’ and ‘FEET'”.
When an inquest into her death began in 2014, the Sydney Morning Herald labelled her “the woman that Sydney forgot” while noting no bill collectors, council workers or Centrelink staff had ever discovered her. And, though some remaining relatives came forward to contest her estate, all only learned of her passing in the newspaper.
According to recent data from realestate.com.au, the median house price for this suburb is $1,400,000; just $300,000 more than what this hovel of unmitigated despair sold for last night. That is, in turn, compared to a Sydney-wide median of $1,000,616 and a significantly cheaper $668,030 in Melbourne.
If this is shocking at all, you may be interested to know the norm in Brisbane is $490,855, Adelaide is sitting at $479,285, and in Hobart you can score a decent place for $325,972. Alternative, this is what you can get for the same price as this poor woman’s derelict tomb:
It’s time to get the shit out of Sydney.