By | 31st Oct 17

It was another action packed end to the latest series of The Block! Read Frank Valentic's wrap up of the auctions below. 

The aftermath of bidding on our ninth Melbourne series of “The Block” has been busy and we can’t believe how much interest our involvement on the Finale generated.  It was most definitely an exciting end to the series with most of Australia talking about Ronnie and Georgia’s passed in auction to me.

 “The Block” Auctions in 2017 are now over and we congratulate all the contestants on their financial windfalls. From Josh and Elyse ($547,000), Jason and Sarah ($387,000), Ronnie and Georgia ($161,000), Sticks and Wombat ($130,000) and Hannah and Clint ($95,000), the total combined profit was $1,220,000 above reserve. This pales in comparison to last year’s result of $2,835,000 over reserve, which is a whopping 132% more than this year. There was a big difference between the winners Josh and Elyse and the rest of the contestant’s results and some of the contestants didn’t seem to be very happy with their winnings.

You would be even more disappointed if you were the Cameron Street Richmond contestants who in 2011 combined won much less than two of this year’s contestants with total winnings of only $225,000.  That’s a total difference of $995,000 or 820% less. We were delighted to buy the bargain of this year, like our purchase of Polly and Waz’s house in Richmond for $858,000 for one of our investor clients was.  With a fantastic current rental of $995 per week and an extra $30,000 per annum in depreciation, this represented great buying in that first series and it is still returning 12% rental return year on year.

Myself and other Real Estate Professionals believed that the “book end” properties would reach over $3,000,000 with auction competition and the middle three properties would sell for between $2,600,000 to $2,800,000.  On the first two book end houses, we were bidding for a young family with teenagers who attend Caulfield Grammar just at the end of the street, so it was a great location for them had they been successful. Unfortunately, we were not successful at the auction of their first choice, being Josh and Elyse’s house as we were the underbidders and then we bid for Jason and Sarah’s house and were the underbidders again.

We then bid for a cashed-up middle age man who was an investor client who lives in Toorak and he was keen to snap up one of the properties for his portfolio. Unfortunately, his budget on the day was not enough to purchase Sticks and Wombat’s house and we were the second underbidders.

We then bid on Ronnie and Georgia’s house for another young upsizing family with two young children from Malvern East. Now this is where it became interesting as many are now aware, where we held the highest bid at $2,600,000, just $20,000 shy of the reserve when Bill from Biggin Scott advised the crowd he needed to speak to his vendors for instructions. No one in the room expected he would return to tell us that the house had been passed in to me and bidding would not be re-opened. As I held the final bid, I was given the first right of refusal. The auctioneer Bill Stavrakis, advised me that the reserve had been increased to between $2,800,000 and $2,900,000 and I then sought instructions from my home buyer client. I raised our client’s offer to $2,675,000 and later again to $2,725,000 but was told my two offers were rejected. I found out later that Nicole Jacobs had offered $2,781,000 and we had missed out which was a very disappointing result for our clients! It wasn’t all bad news for this family as we managed to secure Hannah and Clint’s beautiful house for what we believe was the bargain of the auction finale at $2,615,000.

In summary, our ninth Block Auction experience was another exciting action-packed night where we bid on all five Elsternwick houses.  Our investor client and upsizing client were disappointed to miss out although they understand how important it is that we stick to their set budgets and limits and not get carried away with The Block hype and overpay.  The TV show continues to have a successful formula although there were a few bumps along the road this time around. My family and our Buyer’s Advocate team enjoyed being involved in the series again and enjoyed being a part of the experience again and it’s great to see continued positive headlines in the press regarding the Melbourne housing market.  The great Australian dream of owning a beautiful home continues to appeal to viewers and this year resulted in good results for Channel 9, the contestants and all the successful purchasers again.

We look forward to hopefully being involved in our tenth Block Series in a row with the overhaul of the infamous Gatwick Hotel which they have already chosen the contestants for. “The Frankinator” looks forward to hopefully being part of the next series and this veteran Buyer’s Advocate hopes he can add to the eight properties we have purchased already for clients. We have now bid on thirty of the thirty-nine Block properties in Melbourne, bidding for a total of eighteen investors and twelve home buyers. This year’s target market was mainly home buyers, being young upsizing families whereas I expect the Gatwick apartments to have investors dominating again, as we have seen with the six Block apartment auctions to date.