A Tasmanian beach house mere centimetres from the sand has been listed for just $425,000, but there’s a catch.
The newly renovated, corrugated iron home at 159 Kingfish Beach Road, Southport — 90 minutes from Hobart by car — has uninterrupted sea and sand views. The two-bed, one-bath property on a 352-square-metre block is described in its listing as “the most majestic absolute waterfront position one could imagine.”
The property listing on Realestate.com.au paints an idyllic picture of life at the beachside property.
It reads: “Pack up the car, drive 90 minutes south of Hobart, unpack the car, put your swimmers on, fishing rod in hand. Now it’s time to sit back, throw in a line, totally relax and enjoy the view looking out over the pristine Kingfish Beach in the quaint town of Southport, renowned for its excellent fishing, boating, diving and kayaking.
“There are endless waterways in this pristine area for you and your family to explore.”
The humble property as been described as the “most popular house in Australia” after it launched on the market in April and quickly became Domain’s most clicked listing nationwide.
It’s also listed for about half the sale price of similar properties, according to EIS Property real estate manager Nyal Merdivenci.
An older-style waterfront shack 30km north at Surveyors Bay, for instance, recently sold for $800,000. A brick shack in the same area, but in better condition and set back slightly farther from the beach, sold for $1.1 million.
But, four months after it hit the market, 159 Kingfish Beach Road still hasn’t sold.
The catch is the stunning home is on Crown Land — land that is owned and managed by the state or commonwealth government. That means, while the resident doesn’t pay land tax, the property is on a 30-year Crown Lease that expires in 19 years.
It makes the purchase something of a gamble. The Crown could renew the lease, but there is no guarantee that it will.
Mr Merdivenci explained, in the 1950s, the 26 neighbouring shacks were modestly priced and offered on year-by-year leases. In 2011, the Crown asked the residents to put in costly wastewater management systems, offering to extend their leases for 30 years to compensate.
Mr Merdivenci said he believed the Crown was likely to extend the leases again in 2042 — “Crown really has no interest in taking possession of it … because they’re essentially a landlord that’s generating income from all the leaseholders,” he told Channel 7 — but the uncertainty makes the property a depreciating asset.
“If you went to sell it 10 years down the track, there’s only about nine years left, so you go: ‘What can I justify for a nine-year time frame?’ Because there’s no guarantee you’ll have it longer,” Mr Merdivenci explained.
He said the pristine beach is home to a vibrant local community and popular for fishing, boating, diving and kayaking.
Residents can head straight out onto the water, catch some fish, wash off under the home’s outdoor shower and cook up their catch on its open wood fireplace.
The home is close enough to the glittering waters of Deephole Bay for residents to feel some sea spray without even leaving their veranda.
“If you do get a strong easterly, or north-easterly (wind) blowing in, then you are just gonna cop it,” Mr Merdivenci said.
The current owner, an elderly gentleman, is selling up due to health concerns and because, with an “excess of properties,” Mr Merdivenci said, “he doesn’t really utilise it”.
“In saying that, all the shack owners who are down there, and I’m talking everyone else, they absolutely maximise it down there,” he added.
“It’s their escape. It’s just bliss down there. Pristine white sand. You get all the morning sun coming in first up on the beach.
“When you’re sitting in that lounge chair and all you see is just the water and the beach, it’s pretty impressive.”
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