Update: Worst house in Australia sells for half a million bucks, owners 'blown away'

Update: Worst house in Australia sells for half a million bucks, owners 'blown away'
·Homes Editor

Update, Aug. 27, 2015: Listing agent Gunther Behrendt emailed to update us on the property dubbed the "worst house in Australia." It went to auction with an opening bid of 400,000 Australian dollars -- about $285,000 in the U.S. -- in front of a crowd of about 100 people. Twenty-five registered bidders fought over it, driving the price well past its reserve (500,000 AUD, or about $360,000 in the U.S.). It ultimately soared to 668,000 AUD, or just shy of $500,000 in the U.S. "The owner expectations were blown away," Behrendt told Yahoo Homes.

The street view. Click a photo for a slideshow.
The street view. Click a photo for a slideshow.
In better days.
In better days.

The popular Australian news site news.com.au calls this the "worst house in Australia."

The real estate agent doesn't disagree. His own listing says, "There is no way to sugarcoat this."

And yet with Australia experiencing the "largest housing bubble on record" — one expected to be a "bloodbath" when it bursts — the property in a Brisbane suburb has attracted an onslaught of interest, listing agent Gunther Behrendt tells Yahoo Homes. "In fact, one local artist was interested in capturing on canvas the iconic image of the house. I've never had anyone that wanted to create a painting of a house I was selling, but I can see how people are attracted to its character." He told the Australian real estate site Domain: "I've never seen a response as great as this. We are off the charts."

(Click here or on a photo for a slideshow.)

And this is despite the fact that there's no guarantee the house can be torn down. Behrendt tells Yahoo Homes that in the Australian state of Queensland (where Brisbane is the capital), demolition of structures built before 1946 requires a structural engineer's report testifying to the home's dire condition, along with formal permission from the local authorities. That puts him in an unusual position, he tells Yahoo Homes: "This is the first time the poor condition of a property is a selling point," he says. "This is a clear benefit to support an application for its removal."

The land area is less than 5,000 square feet, but it's located just a mile and a half from Brisbane's central business district. Behrendt bills it as a classic worst-house-on-the-best-street scenario.

"This is really as bad as it gets," he told news.com.au with what we could swear is a healthy dose of cheer. (Click here for a slideshow.)

The home was last occupied nine years ago, by one of Brisbane's longest-serving firefighters, who'd lived there since the 1950s, Domain reported. He raised his family there but died recently; his children are selling the place.

The house, said to have 3 bedrooms and 1 bath, heads to auction this month with the realty Ray White Stones Corner. Behrendt declined to tell Yahoo Homes how much money the owners are aiming for: "The executors just need to sell the property, so each buyer needs to determine their own sense of value." The median house price in the area is about 750,000 Australian dollars — about $500,000 in the U.S.

"It will be certainly an interesting auction on August 22nd," he told us.

Click here or on a photo for a slideshow of the "worst house in Australia."

Also on Yahoo Homes:

Billionaire buys Australia's most expensive mansion in history -- without ever seeing it (16 photos)
Proven-indestructible concrete fortress is now half off (35 photos)
Mansion asking $135M -- among priciest ever in U.S. -- was built by ... Danny Thomas? (21 photos)