The Block 2018: Why Jess and Norm lost
THE Block has been slammed after Queenslanders Jess and Norm made a mere fraction of the profit that the show's biggest ever winners, Dee and Darren, did - despite selling for $569,000 more.
Jess and Norm were red hot favourites going into the weekend's auctions, but were thwarted at the finish line by a combination of factors, according to a valuer with over 25 years' experience.
In a major break from reality, Jess and Norm sold their unit for $2.859m - over half a million more ($569,000) than Darren and Deanne did in 2015's Triple Threat ($2.29million).
But while the Melbourne couple walked away with a massive $835,000 profit, the Queenslanders got just a quarter of that amount $209,000.
A huge factor was the reserve levels - which were set at $1.455m for Darren and Deanne in peak market conditions, and almost double that at $2.65m for Norm and Jess.
The couple also placed last on the list of five couples on this year's show in terms of the amount over reserve - despite holding the highly lauded penthouse - suffering the insult of an apartment lower down scoring the biggest price on the day at $3.02m.
"To pay $3m for the apartment down below and $2m-plus for the penthouse there's no relativity," the valuer told The Courier-Mail.
The biggest mistake the show made was to auction "five apartments on the same day in a softening market", he said. "There just isn't the buyer base."
The biggest winners on The Block have been Darren and Deanne ($935,000) three years ago, followed by Will and Karlie ($815,000) the following year, and Dean and Shay ($755,000) also in 2015. Ranked against previous takings, the weekend's result was only fifth highest at $645,000 winnings.
"A few series back there were such low profits that it was such bad PR for the show. There were really likeable contestants that got diddly, They were very upset about that. I notice the series after that they started making the reserve prices much more achievable... so the contestants can get some money out of it."
This year the reserves were set at multiple millions: $2.475m for Sara and Hayden, Bianca and Carla $2.69m, Norm and Jess $2.65m, Kerrie and Spence $2.435m, and Courtney and Hans $2.36m. The participants get any figure made above that amount.
The valuer said the penthouse buyer who picked up both of the top apartments, "thinks he got a bargain and he probably did".
"Norm and Jess lost out because there were five apartments on the same day, not a heap of buyers, the market is soft, and it was a matter of money.
"I couldn't believe they couldn't get more than $3m. Either someone has paid extraordinarily too much for the bottom unit or there's just not enough buyers."
The valuer believes the couple might have been better served going to private treaty.
"I don't think they got the result they could have got."
"If they had gone to an open market situation or marketed over a six week period based on what the winners got they could have done much better."
Still "$200k for three months work isn't too bad".
"I just think that as far as reality TV goes sometimes the auction results are pretty far removed from reality. That doesn't translate to what we know about market value and auctions."
THE BLOCK WINNERS' LIST
2015 - Triple Threat (South Yarra) - Darren & Deanne, $935,000
2016 - The Block 2016 (Port Melbourne) - Will & Karlie, $815,000
2015 - THE Blocktagon (South Yarra) - Dean & Shay, $755,000
2014 - Fans v Faves (Albert Park) - Steve & Chantelle, $736,000
2018 The Block 2018 (St Kilda) - Hayden and Sara $645,000
2012 - South Melboune - Brad & Lara, $606,000
2017 - The Block 2017 (Elsternwick) - Josh & Elyse, $547,000
2014 - Glasshouse (Prahan) - Shannon & Simon, $435,000
2013 - Sky High (South Melbourne) - Alisa & Lysandra, $395,000
2013 - All Stars (Bondi) - Phil & Amity, $395,000
2010 - Vaucluse - John & Neisha, $305,000
2003 - Bondi - Adam & Fiona, $256,000
2004 - Manly - Jamie & Andrew, $178,000
2011 - Richmond - Polly & Waz, $115,000
LOWER FLOOR Sara and Hayden $545,000 won plus $100,000 grand prize
- Reserve $2.475m; sale price $3.02 million.
LOWER FLOOR Kerrie and Spence $415,000 won
- Reserve $2.435m; sale price $2.85m
LOWER FLOOR Courtney and Hans $410,000 won
- Reserve $2.36m; sale price $2.77m
PENTHOUSE Bianca and Carla $301,000 won
- Reserve $2.69m; sale price $2.991m
PENTHOUSE Norm and Jess $209,000 won
- Reserve $2.65m; sale price $2.859m