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AU How dodgy Summer Hill parking spaces fetched $231,000 at auction

Property Here - Sunday, June 30, 2013

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In the lead up to the auction, more than 70 contracts were issued and on the day and owner Roger Abbott was stunned when 30 people registered to bid.

A SYDNEY panel beater has struck the jackpot by selling five single-car parking spaces for $231,000 at auction - five years after buying them for $70,000.

"We're quite shocked to tell you the truth and obviously over the moon," Roger Abbott of Ashfield Motors in Summer Hill, said.

Dilapidated, covered in ugly graffiti and not approved for residential use, the garages were not expected to sell well, if at all.

"We would have been more than happy to get our money back and get on with our lives," Mr Abbott said.

Agent Matthew Nolan, from Rich and Oliva, convinced Mr Abbott to sell at auction, identifying a niche market for low maintenance, low risk investments.

"The rise of self-managed super funds means there's a lot of mums and dads out there looking for little garages and other projects," Mr Nolan said. "You buy the garages; you rent them out for around $60 a week and don't pay water rates or strata levies."

In the lead up to the auction, more than 70 contracts were issued and on the day Mr Abbott was stunned when 30 people registered to bid.

"It was like winning the lottery," he said. "For the price to run away like that was just unbelievable." The unexpected boost couldn't have come at a better time for Mr Abbott, who was recently forced to close down his repair shop, which had been his parent's business for over half a century. "The insurance companies have crushed our industry," Mr Abbott said.

Mr Abbott will use the extra money to buy him time to find another career, while his father will retire on the money from the separate sale of the workshop, which went for $1.246 million.

"When I bought the garages, I put the family under a lot of financial stress, because the loan fell through and we had to pay for it ourselves," said Mr Abbott.

"It was a very stressful time and it took us 12 months to get back on track after that. To get the extra money back made it all worthwhile."

The great results for the garages and workshop reflect the amazing growth experienced in Summer Hill, where the median house price has risen by 23 per cent and units by 44 per cent in just five years, according to RP Data.

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