AN original “pink palace” deceased estate sold for a massive $4.462 million — $146,000 above reserve — to the next door neighbour at a fast-paced auction in Double Bay this morning.
The agent acting for the neighbour, which property records show to be Christine Renkart, was overheard saying he had a “blank cheque” to purchase the home.
“Imagine if Lorna could see this,” longtime friend Sally Hill exclaimed as auctioneer Damien Cooley slammed down the gavel on the nine-metre wide three-bedroom terrace at 3 Cooper St, right next door to Kerryn Phelps’s doctor’s surgery.
Raine and Horne Double Bay’s Martin Maskin had issued 15 contracts, which had been the home of Lorna Lockwood for more than half a century before she died on June 13, 2016, at the age of 92.
“She was a wonderful woman — my daughter and hers were best friends at kindergarten all those years ago,” Ms Hill confided to the Sunday Telegraph.
Mrs Lockwood was a volunteer nurse during World War II, treating some of the 23,000 American soldiers who entered Hiroshima after the nuclear bomb was dropped on August 6, 1945.
“She damaged her back lifting all the bodies, which were too heavy for her,” Ms Hill said.
The home, with floral and swallow wallpaper on most of the walls, with its pink kitchen and bathroom, is largely untouched since the days she moved in.
Other sources said poor Lorna had once even once fallen down the steep stairs, which had caused a great deal of division amongst family members.
It’s understood more than $2 million from the sale will go to the Humpty Dumpty Foundation, which purchases medical equipment for children’s hospitals. “It’s going to make a huge difference,” the foundation’s executive director, Paul Francis, said.
Of the six who registered this morning, four of them competed frantically in $100,000 increments from the $2.5 million opener.
This continued, like the speed of light, all the way up to $3.7 million when there was an incredible $300,000 bid. There was then a mix of $50,000, $25,000 and $75,000 bids, followed by a few $10,000 and finally $1000 bids.
The winning bidder was an agent acting for the next door neighbour. Property records show that to be Christine Renkart, and a woman, believed to be her daughter, was spotted being congratulated outside in the street following the auction.
Mr Cooley described the auction as “red-hot”. “Double Bay has got to be one of the hottest markets in the country,” he said.
“It’s an irreplaceable location, which will always be hotly contested.”