Second chance to win
The harsh reality of Auckland’s housing market slowdown played out on The Block NZ last night, as all of the houses struggled to meet their reserves at auction.
For the first time in the Kiwi TV programme’s history, one of the houses was passed in, before a surprise twist saw the house put back up for sale at the end of the night.
After initially failing to meet the reserve, house two eventually sold for $1,250,000, netting Hamilton dads Andy Murdie and Nate Ross $30,000 profit and making them the overall winners of season six.
The pair described the win as “bittersweet” and said they were “devastated for all the teams”, as the houses sold below expectations.
The surprise repeat auction came as a huge blow to Palmerston North friends Stacey Cottrill and Yanita McLea, who thought they had won
The Block when their house sold for $1,271,000, netting them $20,000 profit.
Twins Ali and Julia Heaney ended up in third place when their house sold for $1,242,000, earning them $13,000 profit, while Christchurch brothers Ling and Zing — real names Levi and Zach Inglis — made just $1000, when their house sold for $1.3 million.
Speaking after the final auction, Ross said the pair had resigned themselves to the fact they had lost, when they discovered their house was being put back up for auction.
When asked if they would consider splitting their winnings with the other teams, the brothers-in-law said it wasn’t their decision.
“We have wives and kids to consider as well. We have credit cards to pay off and a huge amount of debt. We’ve just spent three months not working.”
Before the auction the houses had been tipped to sell for more than $1.3m, but buyers appeared cautious on the night with bidding seemingly slow and reluctant.
It made for awkward viewing with fans taking to social media to express their surprise and disappointment with the results.
Many asked whether the lacklustre profits spelled the end for the reality competition, but host Mark Richardson confirmed the series would be back next year for a seventh season.
It was a far cry from previous seasons of The Block, which last year saw the winning house sell for $1,610,000, netting Sam and Emmett $380,000 profit and the $100,000 prize money.
The first season of The Block NZ in 2012 saw contestants Rachel and Tyson walk away empty-handed when their property sold for its exact reserve. The four town houses on Northcote’s Potter Ave were expected to sell for more than $1.3m. Earlier, the Herald on Sunday revealed the houses would be sold without code compliance certificates because building work on them is not complete. The site was purchased by Eyeworks New Zealand Limited, the production company also known as Warner Brothers NZ, for $1.9m in July last year. The original two-storey weatherboard house on the 926sq m site was bowled and four identical units were built in April this year. The Northcote houses are the biggest Block houses yet, have rooftop gardens and boast views over the Waitemata Harbour and Rangitoto.
Andy Murdie and Nate Ross’ shock win (left) after their house was put back on the market late in the evening prompted some tears from Stacey Cottrill and and Yanita McLea (below), who had thought they had won the reality television series.