Far out Friday: Quite possibly the world's worst broker commission, ever

Take a moment to send positive thoughts to brokers working in Stoke, UK - you'll see why in a minute



Imagine the commission on this home loan: The local council in Stoke, Staffordshire, in the UK is offering homes for sale at £1, or A$1.49 in a desperate bid to reinvigorate the local property market.

With the average up-front commission rate in Australia standing at 0.66%, that would leave any hypothetical broker involved with a heady sum of A$0.0098 upfront, plus a monthly trail of around A$0.0026.

The UK’s Daily Mail newspaper reports that, as well as a boarded-up building, the owner will receive a £30,000 (A$44,574) low interest loan to renovate the property as part of the £3 million scheme funded by the council and the government.

Unfortunately, the buildings in question reside in one of the area’s most crime-riddled neighbourhoods - and any potential owner must renovate the house and live in it for five years before they’re allowed to sell.

#pb# The properties each have two to three bedrooms, a backyard and are in a variety of conditions ranging from ‘liveable’ to ‘desperately needing refurbishment’.

Council members reportedly feel the abandoned buildings are dragging down living standards and raising crime rates by attracting arsonists, squatters and burglars, as well as devaluing nearby properties.

Abandoned houses are apparently a major problem in the area, with some 4,000 buildings left empty as of January, 2011.

Local resident, John Bannister, tells the Daily Mail that the situation in Stokes is dire.

“At the moment, there is vandalism, people using the backyards of empty houses for fly-dipping and all kinds of problems.”

Back in 2001, Wambo Shire Council offered 48 blocks of land in Jandowae, 260km west of Brisbane, for $1 each.

The town of about 1,000 was in the dulldrums as  people were leaving the area, their houses were unoccupied and shops were closing.

After the sale, the population rose and business picked up. By 2005, the council declared the stunt a 'huge success'.



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