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Australia house prices: The country’s most incredible ‘recalcitrant houses’

Amid the tide of high-rise development sweeping across Australian cities, there are still some truly remarkable homes.

Amid the tide of high-rise development sweeping across Australian cities, there are still some truly remarkable homes.

Surrounded by a world that seems to have left them behind, today they are monuments to a simpler time.

Some seem to sink into the high-rise towers that have sprung up around them, while other spacious estates stick out like sore thumbs amid rows of freshly built new homes.

In some, owners who have lived there for decades say they refuse to leave until they kick the dust. Others are used for artistic projects or have been protected by law to force developers to think creatively.

But there’s one thing they all have in common, they all have an incredible sense of history in a world that sometimes feels like it’s moving a little too fast.

So without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the best “tough” homes in the country.

Brisbane’s “Up” house

Perhaps one of Australia’s best-known homes sits right in the beating heart of Brisbane’s CBD.

Norman and Janet Richards refused to give up on the three-bedroom home when developers came knocking, even when they pulled out their fat checkbooks.

However, in 2015, after Mr Richards died and Ms Richards moved to a care home, 42 Mollison St was finally sold.

The three-bedroom house, which is sandwiched between a shopping complex, which houses a Coles supermarket and 25 specialist shops on one side and blocks of units on the other, was sold under the hammer at the time for $1.4 million.

A real estate agent who sold the house at the time said he believed it would not be bulldozed in the near future.

“It was bought by an out-of-town investor and I think they’re going to put some family there,” he said.

Lo and behold, the two-storey house still stands defiantly in central Brisbane – where it is now let to The House Conspiracy as an artists’ residence.

328 Kingsway, South Melbourne

Perhaps one of Australia’s most notable homes is along the busy Kings Way in southern Melbourne.

Located right in the middle of a massive, modern apartment complex, the house required developers to get creative and shape the tower around it.

According to realestate.com.au, the house and another similar house on Kings Way have been designated as heritage listed houses.

This means they are protected by councils to maintain the charm of historic Australian architecture, and developers must circumvent them by law.

Pint-sized property among the towers of St Leonard

While some Australian homes have been protected from development, one of Australia’s best-known homes has been closed for years and could be demolished before long.

Wedged between two blocks of multi-storey units in St Leonards – on Sydney’s North Shore – the narrow abode was auctioned in 2019 as part of a combined ‘super lot’ incorporating 19-33 Chandos St.

According to North Shore Time, the property’s history dates back over 75 years with documents showing it was sold in the 1960s for £3,000 to jeweler and businessman John Clarke.

The small building remained a family-owned jewelry store, John Clarke & Son, until 2017, when it reportedly sold for $3.5 million.

The one-story building has remained boarded up ever since.

The Zammit Family – The Ponds, Sydney

An Australian house that stands out in a totally different way is owned by the Zammit family in Sydney’s far northwest.

The two-hectare stretch of land at The Ponds sticks out like a sore thumb after rows of hundreds of side-by-side homes have sprung up around the block in recent years.

A local real estate agent praised the family for staying put, despite the large checks they were likely offered.

“The fact that most people sold out years and years ago, these guys held on. All credit goes to them,” said Ray White Quakers Hill agent Taylor Bredin. 7 Newsadding that up to 50 houses could probably be built on the land.

“Depending on how far you push the development plan, you could push 40 to 50 properties on something like this, and once subdivided, a 300 square meter block would bring in a million dollars.”

A lush lawn and a huge 200 meter driveway lead to the brick house with a triple garage. The property also has a huge shed and is about a 40 minute drive from Sydney CBD with views of the Blue Mountains.

Neighboring high density homes are built right up to the property fence, and neighbors wouldn’t want owners to sell as they like to live in a cul-de-sac.

Rhodes Central, Sydney

Another landlord who has refused to give up his property is in Sydney’s mid-west, where a lonely single-storey house is wedged between new skyscrapers.

Like a scene straight out of the Disney-Pixar movie At the topthe three-bedroom brick rental in Rhodes has remained in place despite interest from developers.

This means the house – rented out for $900 a week – is now surrounded by huge residential towers and a shopping and dining district as part of Rhodes Central. On the other side of the road is a train station.

But a man who manages a nearby building claimed the owner of the house, an elderly woman, wanted more for the property than the developers were willing to pay.

“(Other) owners were smart and sold, but this woman wanted $20 million and the developers laughed at her,” he told the Daily Mail.

“She should have asked for $2 million and an apartment in the new building.”

Winston and Adele Marsden, Abbotsford, Sydney

Another bizarre sight in Sydney is a house in Abbotsford, in the mid-west of the city.

The four-bed that appears to sink between surrounding buildings was originally built as a single-storey house in 1940, and is owned by Winston Marsden, 81, and his wife Adele, 77.

Incredibly, Winston has lived in the house for most of his life and said he will have to be “carried in a box” when he leaves.

The Marsdens have a long list of issues they’ve had to endure over the years, from the developers’ alleged antics that pushed them to the wall, to the sounds of trucks backing up every morning, and people pulling into their driveway.

However, the couple are able to see the ups and downs of their stay at home with good humor and they are happy where they are.

“We considered moving and weighed the pros and cons,” he said. “But there was much more in favor of our stay than going elsewhere.”

After all the troubles they’ve endured over the years, the couple say they feel like they’ve finally won the battle against the developers.

Money doesn’t seem to factor into the Marsden equation. Despite the fact that the house would likely fetch a fortune in today’s hot real estate market – and nearby homes sell for over $3 million – the house contains too many memorabilia for them to consider moving. now.

” We won. We are here forever,” Winston said. “They’ll have to drag me into a box when I leave.”

Edith Macefield – the inspiration for Up

While the rest of the holdout homes are in Australia, there are a few overseas homes worth looking into.

One of them was the actual inspiration behind Disney’s At the top and it belonged to Edith Macefield.

Ms Macefield caught global attention in 2006 when she turned down an offer of US$1million (A$1.36million) to sell her home to make way for a retail development in the Ballard area of Seattle, Washington.

But instead of encroaching on her lifestyle, building has become an advantage for her. Construction chief Barry Martin became Macefield’s assistant who collected his medicine and groceries; eventually becoming his heiress upon his death at age 86. Mr. Martin sold the house for US$310,000 (A$422,000). She had paid just $3,750 (A$5,103) for the house in 1952.

China’s Crazy Highway

One of the most bizarre houses in the world belonged to Luo Baoge in China, who insisted on living in a half-demolished building near the city of Wenling in Zhejiang province.

Local reports said the landlord was unhappy with the relocation package offered by the government.

A Chinese newspaper reported that Luo had just completed his home at a cost of around 600,000 yuan (A$131,564). He had been offered 220,000 yuan (43,854 Australian dollars) to move.

The five-storey block had cars driving around while the family lived inside. However, the relentless media attention eventually pushed Luo out, and the property was eventually demolished.

— with Chantelle Francois