Sec­ond chance to win

The New Zealand Herald - - FRONT PAGE - Joanna Hunkin

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.

Pic­tures / Sup­plied

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.

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