Eye-watering price for beach shack built on wrong street

34-36 Arthur St, Mermaid Beach
A beachside cottage held by the same family for almost 100 years has sold for just shy of $5m — despite a last-ditch attempt by the reluctant fifth-generation owner to derail the auction.
The two-bedroom home on a huge 809sq m parcel of land at 34-36 Arthur St, Mermaid Beach was one of the first weekenders built in the exclusive suburb and among the last remaining double blocks to be sold.
It was owned by Richard Fetherston and his nephew, Robin Banff, and sold under the hammer for $4.715m following a marketing campaign by Luke Henderson and Matt Maguire, of Professionals John Henderson.
The auction had been postponed from its original date after Mr Fetherston sought to find a buyer who’d agree to split ownership of the block.
Mermaid Beach is the Gold Coast’s most expensive suburb
Mr Fetherston, 71, said he wished to retain the property where so many family memories had been made over the years.
“I have been going there since I was born,” Mr Fetherston said.
“My grandfather’s uncle bought the property but passed it on to my grandfather as he couldn’t afford the rates — it was the start of the Great Depression.”
Mr Fetherston finally agreed to proceed to auction as planned — but showed up on the day voicing his reluctance and even asking potential bidders if he could buy back half the land.
“He was a reluctant seller, but he was certainly accepting of the result,” Mr Henderson said.
A throng of spectactors packed the street to see the nostalgic property go under the hammer, with auctioneer Rob Doorey fielding a marathon of about 60 bids. An underbidder slowed proceedings by raising her offer in increments of between $1,000 and $5,000.
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There were five registered bidders, three of them active, and the property was announced on the market at $4m, eventually selling for an eye-watering price which equated to $5,828 per sq m.
Mr Henderson said the buyer was a local family who planned to build a “dream home” on the site.
“It was a really solid result that was higher than the sq m rate of the most recent single block that sold in a similar distance to the beach,” he said.
“This was one of the most recognised beachside cottages and many locals thought they would never see the day it changed hands.
“While the now highly desirable Mermaid Beach has changed, this cottage basically hasn’t. As one of the first houses built in the dunes, it’s fitting that it’s one of the last double blocks to be sold and redeveloped.”
The cottage was originally built on the wrong street
The cottage was originally built on the wrong street in the 1940s, before being moved several years later to its rightful position across the sand dunes, to the vacant land which had been held by the family since 1928.
Renovations to the home included a small extension with a toilet, shower and laundry.
Mermaid Beach is the Gold Coast’s most expensive suburb, with a median house price of $2.85m, up 45 per cent over the last 12 months.

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