Over 19 years we’ve grown used to the rollercoaster that is auction day on The Block, but nothing quite prepared any of us for the tumultuous ups and downs we experienced last weekend!
With the reserve prices for The Block properties pitched higher than the record sales price for Hampton, the contestants were set to break records… provided their homes sold. And, as we saw, auction strategy played its part in determining the outcome. Kristy and Brett’s auctioneer didn’t do them any favours, and Leah and Ash were smart to call a halt to their auction when it looked like it was heading in a similarly disappointing direction.
When you compare the sale prices achieved by Gisborne’s 1o acre properties in 2022 with the prices achieved in suburban Hampton this year, the importance of location is very clear, with this year’s bidders paying top dollar to buy into the area, as opposed to buying space in which to spread their wings.
It’s probably no secret that if Stef and Gian hadn’t won I’d have probably lodged a protest (joke). They took a high quality approach from day one, at a level we’ve not seen previously on The Block. The level of thought and detail that went into every single element of every room was truly next-level. We never had a sense that anything had been rushed , everything was executed with a fine eye for consistency and perfection. They also took time to build a rapport with their trades, and that really paid off, because they got the best out of everyone who worked with them; evidenced in their home’s finish. Ultimately, Stef and Gian presented one of my favourite houses across all the seasons I’ve worked on. A very well-deserved win.
Eliza and Liberty chose wisely in the house decider challenge, opting for House 5. The biggest of the five properties on The Block this year, their home was always going to have buyer appeal from a square-footage perspective, but there was no guarantee the rookie renovator sister act would do the right thing with it once let loose with a budget and a building team. Hats off to them, they listened to our feedback every week, took our advice on board and improved as the season progressed. Their focus on key communal areas within the house; the living, dining, and kitchen spaces, scored them strategic wins and also ensured their home appealed to a broad market (their most polarising element was an orange stove) beyond the family demographic.
House 1 was always the dark horse in this competition, and I believe it was a contender to take the win with the quality of their build, the colour palette, textures, and those romantic curvy features throughout the house. Leslie and Ash listened to our feedback every week, and made changes incrementally throughout their house. This pair was tricky to judge because everyone said how beautiful everything looked each week, but what they showed us wasn’t always functional the first time they presented it. The tough thing for us is that the room we judge on the day isn’t always what’s presented on auction day. Their revamp of the living dining area was especially important. It was transformative for the whole house once they’d opened the space up, and made those signature curves feel warm and inviting.
For The Block’s big 20th anniversary season we’re off to Phillip Island, and it’s resort time! Next year’s couples will be renovating a holiday park and, even though the island is a tourist destination, at heart it’s a sleepy regional town. History has shown some houses on the island realise big prices, they they tend to be stand-alone properties, and not grouped in an enclave like these will be. Time will tell if The Block’s property record-breaking ways continue in 2024.
The holiday park is just a waddle away from the penguin beach and, while we Melbournians know all about the island’s fairy penguin colony, the seal rocks, and the Moto GP circuit, next season looks set to put Phillip Island on the map with the rest of the country.
One of the many reasons to love Phillip Island is its wild and wooly weather. Thank goodness we’re filling in Summer. Now, who’s up a motorsport challenge?
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Blank Canvas Interiors
598-600, Burwood Road
Hawthorn East, VIC AUSTRALIA 3123