Finance Property Penthouse shock nets victory for The Block underdogs
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Penthouse shock nets victory for The Block underdogs

sara hayden
The show's underdogs have come out on top. Photo: Channel Nine
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Sara and Hayden were the surprise top sellers of Channel Nine’s The Block series, after the two Gatwick penthouse auctions performed dismally.

The couple – who almost quit The Block when they felt down and out – secured a stellar $3.02 million sale for the 3/34 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda offering.

That meant the couple took home a “life changing” $645,000, which included an extra $100,000 in prize money.

Surprisingly, the two penthouses in the competition fell short of the $3 million mark.

sara hayden
Sara and Hayden had complained of being overly criticised by the judges, slammed on social media, and “isolated” by the other contestants. But they’re now all smiles. Photo: Channel Nine

The second-best result was for Bianca and Carla, who sold their renovated penthouse to a tech entrepreneur for $2,991,000, after a tense auction when auctioneer Damien Cooley refused to take a $2.7 million opening bid.

“This is worth $3.25 million,” Mr Cooley insisted.

The 5/34 Fitzroy Street penthouse, which doesn’t face noisy Fitzroy Street, had a $2.7 million reserve adjusted to $2.69 million with four registered buyers. 

The price guidance had been adjusted upwards during the campaign to between $2.6 million to $2.8 million. 

bianca carla
Bianca and Carla took home $301,000 in prize money. Photo: Channel Nine

Norm and Jess sold their penthouse to the same tech entrepreneur for $2,859,000.

The 4/34 Fitzroy Street offering came with a $2.65 million reserve with five registered buyers.

There was very cautious bidding after its $2.5 million opening bid from Frank Valentic.

Buyers’ agent Greville Pabst from PropertyDuo thought the buy “was very good value” for this south facing apartment with four-meter-high ceilings and massive terrace. He was prepared to pay more, but there wasn’t competition.

the block
Norm and Jess were ecstatic to walk away with $209,000. Photo: The Block

Kerrie and Spence sold for $2.85 million to an Australian lawyer based in Singapore who is planning on leasing it out and then living there when he moves back to Melbourne. The dream kitchen worth $250,000 is what Mr Pabst found to be the most alluring feature.

kerrie spence
Kerrie and Spence secured $415,000 in prize winnings above their reserve. Photo: Channel Nine

The 1/34 Fitzroy Street offering had a $2.45 million formal reserve with a $15,000 adjustment based on a contestant winning discount which took the reserve to $2.435 million.

Twin sisters who previously owned and operated The Gatwick secured Courtney and Hans’ apartment for $2,770,000, some $410,000 over reserve.

Rose and Yvette’s mother, Vittoria Carbone or ‘Queen Vicky’, is fondly remembered for her compassionate management of the hotel and her legacy was then carried on by her daughters.

The 2/34 Fitzroy Street offering came with a $2.4 million reserve adjusted to $2.36 million with five registered buyers.

Twin sister bidders Rose and Yvette’s purchase price ensured Hans and Courtney got a profit of $410,000. Photo: Channel Nine

The success achieved by some on the Channel Nine renovation series was hardly reflective of reality, as elsewhere under half of Melbourne vendors secured their own home sale at weekend auctions.

The preliminary Melbourne results show a clearance rate of 49.8 per cent, up from the revised 45.7 per cent outcome on the prior weekend, which was the lowest clearance rate seen since June 2012.

Over the same week last year, the Melbourne auction clearance rate was significantly higher with 70 per cent of the 1983 auctions returning a successful result.

Melbourne’s top sale was in Brighton where a distinctive French Provincial style home sold for $6.1 million.

The price guidance had been $5 million to $5.2 million for the house with 60 squares of internal living.

It was marketed as having “meticulous finishes and versatile, gallery-inspired spaces”.

It came with six bedrooms and five bathrooms.

The house previously sold for $3,500,000 in March 2006.

There was a $5.85 million result at 37 Elizabeth Street, Malvern of a Nicholas Day-designed home.

It had $5 million to $5.5 million price guidance from Jellis Craig.

Sales included 1996 Atlanta Olympics baseballer Mark Doubleday securing the sale of his three-bedroom Victorian era home in Essendon.

It sold to a local Ascot Vale family at its $1.48 million reserve.

The Napier Crescent home traded in 2010 for $855,000 having been in six decade long prior ownership.

There were 796 auctions held in Sydney, up from 675 last week, although substantially lower than the 1215 homes taken to auction this time last year.

Corelogic put the preliminary results at 50.7 per cent, up from the revised 44.6 per cent last week which had seen an initial 52 per cent preliminary rate.

“The final auction clearance rate has been sitting below 50 per cent for four consecutive weeks now, and it is likely to be the case again this week as final results are collected,” CoreLogic auction analyst Kevin Brogan said.

Sydney one year ago had a clearance rate of 58.3 per cent.

The highest Sydney weekend sale was the five bedroom Yarrawin, at 13 Etham Avenue, Darling Point, which sold at its $5 million reserve shortly after its auction.

Across the smaller auction markets, preliminary results show a weekly improvement in clearance rates across all cities except Brisbane.

But only Adelaide’s 67 per cent success rate sits higher than the same time last year when it was 62 per cent.

Jonathan Chancellor is editor at large at Property Observer

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