Last night, the auctions of the hit reality-television show, The Block Triple Threat, aired to the public. It is here, that the winner of the show is realised - judged by who’s apartment sells for the most over their respective reserve.
Over all four of the teams, all four apartments sold for a considerable amount over the reserve. No team left without more than $665,000 in prize money, with the winners, Daz and Dea, coming away with $935,000.
And whilst everyone winning is a joy to watch, the value placed on the property (and their respective properties) before the auction have come into question.
Now, either Melbourne is present in an incredible real estate boom, or the the valuations put on to the apartments were unrealistically low.
Watercress Productions Pty Ltd, the company responsible for purchasing the Darling Street site last year, paid a total of $5.7m. However, the reserves, after investments counting in the hundreds of thousands, totalled $5.6m. Hardly trend-setting.
Interestingly, in South Yarra, properties of similar size, amenities and location were sold for around $9,0000 to $10,000 per square metre, however, based on The Block auctions, the average cost for the square metre was around $12,000 to $13,000.
The two issues here are separate, however when they are combined, they form one large explanation; one: the reserves set were very low, creating huge profits for the contestants, therefore warping the reality and expectation of those wanting to enter the market, and two: the frenzy behind the television show allowed for frantic bidding to occur, giving buyer’s agents, representing clients, no chance to put in bids before their budget was overshot.
Buyer’s agent, Greville Pabst, who was used as a judge on the show, was astounded by the mood of all four auctions and confirmed that the “auctions [bore] no relevance to reality” - confirming suspicions that the show, in no way whatsoever, reflected Melbourne’s current property market.
Whilst this is no conspiracy, as Channel 9 make their money elsewhere, buyer’s advocates, who were the winning bidders of all four auctions, used The Block’s careful camera publicity to raise attention to themselves and their business.
In the end, it made good television, and its not as if anyone thought reality-television was actual reality - so why are we complaining now? Who knows.