Developers build around old house because owner refuses to sell for less than £11 million
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An elderly woman in Australia forced developers to build high-rise apartment buildings around her home because she refused to sell for less than AU $20 million (£11m/US $13m), according to locals.
With three bedrooms and one bathroom, the single-storey house is dwarfed by the development around it, but that hasn’t stopped the owner from sticking to their guns.
Speaking to the Daily Mail earlier this year, a man called Joe who manages a nearby building claimed the owner of the house – an elderly woman – wanted a fair wedge of cash for the property, demanding more than the developers were willing to pay for the house.
“There used to be three houses along this street,” he said.
"Those owners were smart and sold, but this woman wanted $20 million and the developers basically laughed at her," he said.
"She should have asked for $2 million and an apartment in the new building."
At the time, the owner declined to comment, but Joe said she had taken developers Billbergia to court to stop them building units around her property.
“She fought against the developers in court for a few years, but she lost,” Joe continued.
“The house has been renovated since then and it's in better condition than it was - it was a crumbled mess - but it still needs a lot of work.”
According to the Daily Mail, property data shows that the woman – who owns several properties in Sydney – bought the house in 2012 for AU $1.7m.
Real estate agent Robert Yu, of Ray White Rhodes, currently manages the home, and said the land would probably be worth around AU $4 million.
A listing for the house, which was leased for AU $900 a week earlier this year, says it is ‘located in the heart of Rhodes and business district’, boasting timber flooring and a ‘huge backyard’.
But many locals don’t see the appeal, with one resident named Ryan saying he felt the owner should have sold the house when she had the chance.
“I mean, I probably wouldn't live in it,” he told the Daily Mail.
“I see people parking in the driveway before they get on a train or something, and I think that's incredibly disrespectful.”
Anna, who works in the dry cleaner’s next door, added: “It's ugly.
“People sell and buildings go up and they're nice, but the house is no good - everyone says that, not just me.
“They say ‘why is that house there?’ and I say ‘I don't know’ - but so many people say that.”
LADbible has contacted Billbergia for a comment.