When it comes to the most-ogled property listings on realestate.com.au over the past half decade, it’s a case of the good, the bad… and the quirky.
New data has revealed the properties that have attracted the most eyeballs over the past five years, with many raking in hundreds of thousands of views. One spooky South Australian residence captivated property seekers in Australia and beyond, recording a staggering 2.5 million views.
Economist at realestate.com.au Anne Flaherty said the list of most-viewed properties for each state and territory featured homes that were a bit out of the box, whether that be wow factor, peculiarity or just plain ugliness.
“They’re not your run-of-the-mill properties, they are something with a feature that makes them stand out a bit,” Ms Flaherty said.
“A lot of these properties offer something unique in highly sought-after areas, whether that be a beautifully-renovated property in a tightly-held area, a renovator’s delight or an opportunity to develop.
“These properties attract buyers that are looking for something a bit different, as well as those simply dreaming about where they would like to live.”
Dubbed ‘Australia’s Hell House’ due to its spooky listing pictures, selling agent Tim Thredgold of Toop + Toop – Hyde Park said the “lovely old homestead-type home” attracted lots of attention.
“That starts bringing up all sorts of stories that people have about houses being haunted and strange experiences, and of course that gets the media turning stories over and over into a bigger space than just someone wanting to buy a home,” Mr Thredgold said.
But despite the media hype, he said there was a lot of genuine buyer interest in the property.
“As a property it had quite a lot of significance in terms of its heritage, it was a lovely piece of land in a slightly unusual spot out in Magill,” he said.
“Its price point gave people who might otherwise not have had the opportunity to get hold of a property of that stature, an opportunity to get involved in that sort of market.”
And as far as being spooky, Mr Thredgold said the home was “not at all”.
“I think the owners’ paraphernalia around the place and the way they had dressed it up probably contributed to [the spookiness] more than its actual bricks and mortar,” he explained.
“It’s one of those things in marketing: if you can find a point of difference that’s really a point of difference, you can make a mark in the attraction of customers around the place.”
Mr Thredgold said the new owners are breathing some new life into the “brilliant old home”.
“That’s really exciting and it will be interesting to see how it progresses over the next few years.”
Featured in the now-sold property listing is a daring video in which selling agent Richard Faulkner, AKA ‘Bruce’, takes viewers on a tour of the home, pointing out features such as “custom-made, one-of-a-kind stained carpet” and “deconstructed walls”.
He warns viewers they are “gonna need their imagination” to see the home’s potential.
During the selling campaign, Mr Faulkner told realestate.com.au, he wanted to be upfront with potential buyers so they knew what they were in for.
“I didn’t want people to come to the property and be shocked,” he said.
Ms Flaherty added some not-so-nice homes attract attention because they are on bigger blocks and are located in sought-after areas.
“A property like [the North Gosford home] is really desirable to a developer looking for land or someone looking to build their own house. Land itself is extremely valuable so to be able to purchase over 500sqm of land for half a million dollars within commuting distance to Sydney’s CBD is good value,” she said.
“There are a lot of buyers who actually like to buy something they can clean up, whether or not they are people who buy properties to renovate and then sell on,” Ms Flaherty added.
“The current market climate could be a good one to do that in because property prices are increasing and they’re forecast to continue increasing. If you purchased a derelict property now and did it up and sold it on, not only would the money you spend on the renovation add to the value of the property but the property itself will have appreciated in value along with the rest of the market over that time.”
Other homes that featured on the list of most-viewed Australian properties were beautiful and often very expensive homes such as a beachside haven at 3 Kiln Lane in Western Australia’s Cottesloe (130,000 views) and the waterside masterpiece at 62 Napoleon Street in Tasmania’s Battery Point (95,000 views).
Selling agent Rick Daniel of Nelson Alexander – Fitzroy said factory conversions in inner-city Melbourne are “massively” popular.
“There are hardly any raw shells around anymore, most of them have been converted. This particular one was popular because the renovation was starting to show its age and it was ripe for somebody to redo it,” he said.
“The sheer size and the location is what made it extremely desirable. To have a huge garage that you can potentially fit four cars in right off Smith Street is an extremely unique proposition.”
Melbourne’s Smith Street was recently recognised as the coolest street in the world by Time Out.
Given beautiful, highly sought-after and expensive homes are out of reach for many homebuyers, the popularity of these listings can often be attributed to daydreamers, especially during COVID, said Ms Flaherty.
“People are stuck at home, they’re dreaming about where they could otherwise be. Looking at beautiful homes is always enjoyable.”
Here are the most-viewed listings in each state and territory for the past five years.
Renovator’s delight in North Gosford, NSW: 370,000 views
This home needed more than a fresh coat of paint and some new carpet, but with oodles of potential it certainly drew some attention – with the help of an imaginative listing video.
The rundown, four-bedroom home sold for $535,000 in August 2020.
Factory conversion in Collingwood, VIC: 190,000 views
Just a stone’s throw from Melbourne’s bustling Smith Street, this huge, uber trendy factory conversion with remnant industrial detail had scope for further development.
The home sold for $3.56 million in October 2016.
‘Bubble House’ in Karalee, QLD: 220,000 views
There wouldn’t be too many other homes on the planet like this eccentric construction at 79 Elanora Way in Karalee, dubbed ‘Bubble House’. Eleven intersecting circular domes create a private sanctuary akin to a spaceship.
The property is still for sale; agents are accepting offers over $1,500,000.
‘Australia’s Hell House’ in Magill, SA: 2.5 million views
This home could possibly go down in realestate.com.au history as one of Australia’s most-viewed property listings thanks to some very unique listing pictures, which led to it being dubbed ‘Australia’s Hell House’.
The home sold for $1.19 million in August 2020.
Beachside bliss in Cottesloe, WA: 130,000 views
With an eclectic mix of exposed concrete, metal and lush gardens, this contemporary abode was a cut above the rest. It even featured an upper-level garage.
The property sold off market in 2020.
Waterside masterpiece in Battery Point, TAS: 95,000
This home is a top-notch example of how old is blended with new to create a simply stunning family home. A charming 1890s weatherboard cottage sat at the top of the block, linked by an elevated walkway to a striking industrial-modern waterfront addition.
The masterpiece sold for $4.15 million in March 2018.
Tropical oasis in Fannie Bay, NT: 32,000 views
This stunning home at 38 East Point Road in Darwin’s sought-after Fannie Bay was fit for royalty. Hidden by palm trees, the deep full-sized slate pool with water jets was a standout feature of the private sanctuary.
The property sold for $1.9 million in February 2017.
Entertainer’s dream in Yarralumla, ACT: 38,000 views
The remarkable three-storey family home at 8 Gunn Street in Yarralumla offered modern (party) living at its best. The gourmet kitchen with high-end appliances including two dishwashers, integrated refrigerator and a large walk-in butler’s pantry made all kinds of entertaining possible.
The home sold for an undisclosed price in July 2020.