The Sunday Mail (Queensland)

Finally, a place to call their home

- DARREN CARTWRIGHT

IT HAS taken six gruelling months, five frustrated failed auction attempts and a harrowing budget raise of more than a quarter of a million dollars for a young Brisbane family to finally secure their first home.

And even then it wasn't easy. The couple were part of a crowd of about 80 outside 86 Zetland Rd, Upper Mount Gravatt for the 8am auction.

Gathered among them were 27 other bidders desperate to secure a home in Brisbane’s pandemic-driven property price frenzy.

As auctioneer Phil Parker ran through the conditions of sale of the three-bedroom, one bath house, on a 615sq m lot that had not changed hands since Brisbane held World Expo, bidders were still registerin­g.

“Before the pandemic, 28 bidders would represent about a month’s worth of auctions,” said Ray White’s Springwood real estate agent Lindsay Battley.

“This has now become the norm and we see some of the same bidders from auction to auction.”

Offering the house for sale was an elderly couple, now in their 90s, who have moved to live with their son.

Property records show they bought the Zetland Street residence for $85,000 in 1988.

As the clock struck 8am, the bidding opened at $650,000, some $5000 more than the median house in Mount Gravatt, according to Realestate.com.au.

The first few bids were in $25,000 increments before it slowed to $5000 and $1000.

Some of the early bidders had parked themselves on the road and nature strip.

But when it got down the pointy end of the sale, two young families battled it out with face masks at 20 paces within metres of the auctioneer.

Facing each other across the top of the driveway, they were the last of some 10 active bidders still standing as the auctioneer announced the house was on the market at $825,000.

In the end, Satith and Tztitien Chaichana, who had their 19-month-old daughter Asher by their side, were successful while the other family trundled off.

The hammer came down at $840,00 for the solid brick veneer home that needs a helluva lot of interior TLC to bring it into the 21st century.

We’ve been looking for a house since late last year,” Mr Chaichana said.

“We have been to five auctions before this and we started out looking for a house around $500,000.”

The house sold for $100,000 above the reserve.

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