The Block 2013: hot property in the Melbourne market

Written by Frank Valentic in Developing on August 5, 2013

Channel Nine’s ‘The Block’ auctions are over and we congratulate all the contestants on their big financial windfalls this year. From Trixie and Johnno ($205,000), Bec and George ($242,000), Kim and Matt ($250,000), Madi and Jarrod ($291,000) and the overall winners twins Alyssa and Lysandra ($395,000 including prize money), the total combined profit was $1,283,000, working out to be an average of $256,000 each which was $210,000 less each than last year’s couples.

‘The Block’ auctions turn out fierce competition

The auctions started with the South Australian twins Alyssa and Lysandra’s level one apartment. Unfortunately we were blown away by at least six bidders and an eventual sale price of $1,435,000. Our client was disappointed we fell short as she had already missed out on two Victorian terraces in last year’s Dorcas Street, South Melbourne auctions.

Myself and other real estate professionals believed that Trixie and Johnno’s penthouse apartment on level five would set the benchmark, the views would have it estimated to be worth at least $200,000 to $250,000 more than the other apartments. I estimated that it would sell for around $1,650,000 to $1,700,000 based on comparable sales in the area and was surprised when it only sold for $1,601,000.  We were one of six bidders representing a downsizer client who currently lives in a bigger home in the South Melbourne area.

We were bidding for a male home buyer upsizing to a bigger property for Madi and Jarrod’s level four apartment and unfortunately were blown away by at least six bidders and an eventual sale price of $1,601,000. Our client was disappointed but we stuck to our budget again.  Russell Cambridge from Biggin and Scott Real Estate again did a textbook auction and made sure he got every last dollar out of two remaining buyers who slugged it out at the end.

My predictions were then revised to around $1.5 million for the two remaining properties. We were determined to try and secure one of these apartments for our female home buyer. We knew we were in trouble when the under bidder of the last auction (who bid to $1,600,000) started bidding for Bec and George’s level three apartment.  Banter and fun, including offering to show the other bidder where the lift was and offering to take him to dinner if he stopped bidding, didn’t work!  We were one of six bidders who missed out to this gentleman who secured the property for $1,507,000.


Strong, confident knock out bids

The last auction was my last chance to help my client achieve her dream of a lifestyle in the vibrant inner city area of South Melbourne.  Having bid at over a thousand auctions over the last 13 years as a Buyers’ Advocate and Agent, I used every bit of my experience to come up with a game plan that would be successful.  As one of my favourite inspirational characters Rocky did, I picked myself up off the canvas after four missed auctions and started bidding aggressively with strong, confident knock out bids.  Seasoned auctioneer Damian Cooley knocked it down to me for $1,455,000.

My third experience bidding on ‘The Block’ has definitely been an interesting one and I am surprised by all the attention I have received. My favourite moment though was being interviewed by Rosso on the Merrick and Rosso radio show which was great fun and being asked whether I was now going to be the new intruder on Big Brother!  I look forward to being involved in “The Block” again next year which rumour has it that it won’t be moving too far and it will involve some warehouse conversions in Albert Park.