Battered properties in need of major restoration around inner Brisbane are in high demand, thanks to a scarcity of houses and land in the area. Buyers are even shelling out millions for such properties with the intention to repair and revive them.

One example is a historic Queenslander in Woolloongabba that was sold close to $1 million in a pre-auction sale, despite its rickety condition. According to marketing agent Darcy Lord of Place Estate Agents, there is something special about the house that attracted buyers to it, in spite of broken floorboards and a rotting balcony.

"Everyone always talks about the character of a home, but personally, I think it's the imperfections in the home itself. There is weather, there is history inside these places—they feel lived in," Lord said. "They were built in an era where craftsmanship was a really big thing, and everything in here is handmade and that just has a feeling people will keep getting drawn to."

In fact, more money is being spent on decrepit houses. A rundown house in Hendra sold for more than $1 million last month, with the winning family aiming to take advantage of the large land size and extend the house.

"There has been a lot of big numbers recently," said Brisbane buyers' agent Pete Wargent. "I think low interest rates have been a factor in that."

He also added that the scarcity of inner city houses was another factor. "Things like land sizes and zoning play a part. Also, post-war houses generally have more value in them due to the ability to replace them," Wargent said.

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