Who are the real winners of The Block?
Is it the triumphant couple who walk home on auction day with their above-reserve profit and a giant TV cheque of $100,000?
Or is it the silent buyers who stand to make millions in the long-term from the rental market, Airbnb (we’re talking $1000 a night on one occasion), lucrative tax depreciation schedules, and high capital growth?
Ahead of The Block auctions on October 28, The New Daily looked into the status of some of the past winning properties and found that whether they were bought as investment properties or not (most were), they’re all likely to become lucrative cash cows for their owners.
Season four in Richmond: Polly and Waz (2011)
House sold for: $858,000
Total win: $115,000 profit
This wasn’t a great year for The Block contestants. Only one of the four houses sold and winners Polly and Waz pocketed a measly $15,000 in profit.
According to buyers’ agent Frank Valentic, however, the house is currently rented out at $990 a week by a “professional woman who operates a real estate business”.
“She tried to buy Ben and Andy’s apartment last season,” Mr Valentic noted.
Down the road at number 41, the home by 2011 Block contestants Katrina Chambers and Amie Godde first sold for its reserve price of $860,000 after auction.
Late last year it went under the hammer for $1.32 million — a 53 per cent increase in five years — which augers well for Mr Valentic’s client.
“For the first five years, my client has been claiming approximately $45,000 per annum in depreciation,” he said.
“The Block comes with furniture and accessories worth $100,000 so the tax depreciation schedule is impressive.”
Season five in South Melbourne: Brad and Lara (2012)
House sold for: $1.62 million
Total win: $606,000
Former Buxton Albert Park managing director, Karl Gillon, sold the property for winning couple Brad and Lara, who transformed the rundown terrace into a modern three-bedroom house in nine weeks.
According to Mr Gillon, the buyers were a couple that were living in an apartment in the area and “knew the suburb well”.
“They realised they would have to pay more for it,” he said.
“They loved the property and bought it to be owner-occupiers.”
It last sold for $800,000 in 2007, and hasn’t been listed since its Block appearance.
Fans v Faves season at Albert Park: Steve and Chantelle (2014)
Apartment sold for: 2.47 million.
Total win: $736,000
Mr Valentic said the warehouse conversion was bought by an owner-occupier couple who lived in it for a few years before listing it on Airbnb for between four and five months at an eye-watering $1000 a night.
They were also offered an excellent off-market price of close to $4 million recently, but according to Mr Valentic the deal never “came to fruition”.
The client is a savvy investor couple, and he is a surgeon. They are now renting it out as an investment.
According to Hocking Stuart agent, David Wood, the property is netting $2500 a week.
“They paid close to $2.5 million for the property, but it’s probably worth about a million more now,” he said.
Glasshouse season in Prahran: Shannon and Simon (2014)
Apartment sold for: $1.91 million
Total win: $435,000
According to Mr Valentic, a professional investor bought Shannon and Simon’s winning apartment.
“He lives in the outer suburbs and once his children grow up he will move into the apartment and enjoy an inner-city lifestyle down the Windsor end of Chapel Street,” he said.
It is currently leased for a little under $2000 a week. It was formerly rented to managing director of a record label, but Jellis Craig agent Andrew McCann declined to reveal who rents the apartment these days.
Triple Threat season in South Yarra: Darren and Deanne (2015)
Apartment sold for: $2.175 million.
Total win: A whopping $935,000
It was the auction that broke records with a price that sailed $835,000 above the reserve to a couple who had fallen in love with it.
Buyers’ agent Nicole Jacobs of Nicole Jacobs Property bought Darren and Deanne’s apartment for a professional couple with a family.
“They’re owner-occupiers and they were living bayside, but moved to South Yarra because that is where their kids’ schools are,” she said.
“They’re still in it and love the area.”