Entertainment Hot housing market hands Block winners a huge windfall

Hot housing market hands Block winners a huge windfall

Tess and Luke are the winners of The Block 2019. Photo: Nine
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In a stunning display of the nation’s resurgent real estate market, the winners of this year’s The Block have pocketed a whopping $730,000 on a renovated terrace inside a rundown hotel.

Underdogs Tess and Luke claimed victory in a surprising upset on Sunday night. And in an even more shocking twist, the show’s most experienced renovators and frontrunners, Mitch and Mark, came in last.

Tradie Luke Struber, 30, and Tess Cattana, 28, screamed in delight as their house sold at auction for a massive $3.620 million, which was $630,000 over their reserve. As first place winners the pair scored an additional $100,000.

Winners of The Block, Tess and Luke, share a kiss after taking home more than $700,000.

The $730,000 prize is “more money than we could ever have imagined having in the bank,” Luke said afterwards.

“In our lifetime,” added Tess.

It was a hard-earned win for the Cairns newlyweds, who auditioned for the show four times before being accepted and at times. At times they had appeared unlikely to finish the arduous renovation process, but upon winning Tess agreed with Scott Cam that “now we love The Block”.

The big winners, at a glance:

  • Tess and Luke sold for $3.620 million, $630,000 over reserve
  • El’ise and Matt sold for $3.45 million, $460,000 over reserve
  • Andy and Deb sold for $3.42 million, $430,000 over reserve
  • Jesse and Mel sold for $3,378 million, 388,000 over reserve
  • Mitch and Mark sold for $3.374 million, $384,000 over reserve

In a show first, each team was given the same reserve of $2.99 million on their three-storey terrace homes which previously formed The Oslo Hotel in St Kilda, in Melbourne’s southeast.

Mitch and Mark were first to auction with their controversial party pad, selling for $3.374 million, $384,000 over their reserve.

But it was heated competition between passionate, emotional bidders in the second auction which saw Tess and Luke earn the top spot.

Third cab off the rank was Perth parents El’ise and Matt, who sold their house for $3.45 million, a profit of $460,000, making them runners-up in the competition.

El’ise and Matt were over the moon with the auction result.

Before the auction, NSW couple Andy and Deb were visibly distressed knowing that bushfires raged close to their family home in Wallabi Point.

“Our house was under threat of being engulfed by fire, along with our neighbours and the community,” she said. “Everyone has been evacuated. Our minds and hearts have been at home. We love everybody at home and hope they’re all well.”

The comfortable, coastal charm of Andy and Deb’s renovation saw it sell for $3.42 million, $430,000 over reserve. Comedian Andy celebrated the win telling his family “now we can eat name brand two-minute-noodles”. 

In a blow to real estate agent Jesse’s trademark confidence, he and partner Mel came second-last on auction day. It was a respectable result nonetheless, selling their “luxe Toorak-style in St Kilda” home for $3.378 million, $388,000 over reserve.

Mitch and Mark want to use their windfall to help their granddaughter who has epilepsy.

There was a mere $4,000 difference between Jesse and Mel’s second last place and Mitch and Mark’s last place.

The auction order was chosen in an unusually amicable meeting this year. Mitch and Mark sealed their own fate offering to go to auction first, leaving the coveted second auction to Tess and Luke.

The Block auction results are often unpredictable at the mercy of an ever-changing real estate market.

Teams are unlikely to be disappointed with their hefty winnings this year, unlike previous years in which some winners went home with little to show for their efforts.

Most memorably, Dee and Darren Jolly pocketed a mere $10,000 for their renovation on the Glasshouse in 2014.

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