The buyers behind The Block: Fans v Faves

The buyers behind The Block: Fans v Faves
The buyers behind The Block: Fans v Faves

With the properties on The Block going for record prices, everybody is wondering who paid $2.47 million for Steve and Chantelle’s apartment at 1/47 O’Grady Street.

According to Advantage Property Consulting managing director Frank Valentic, who represented the winning apartment’s buyers at Tuesday’s auction, 1/47 went to a young professional couple who had been seeking a home in Melbourne’s blue chip inner south.

The surgeon and marketer from Southbank were keen on an Albert Park residence after missing out on a property in St Kilda earlier this year. Valentic, who bid on all four apartments, said of his three interested clients, the couple that secured 1/47 were the most emotionally motivated.

“They’re in their thirties, looking to start a family and Albert Park is a great location for it,” he said.

The other two buyers Valentic represented on the night were businessmen looking to purchase apartments at O’Grady Street as investments, who both missed out.

“The investors were very disappointed, but they were unemotional buyers. When we reached our limit, we pulled out.”

The $2.47 million sum was approaching the owner occupier’s maximum price threshold, said Valentic.

“That last bid – we were right on the edge there,” he said. “We got in by the skin of our teeth on the last one.”

Independent valuer and WBP Property chief executive Greville Pabst agreed that emotions were a significant factor in the record-breaking prices seen last night.

“This was never going to be about price or valuation or property fundamentals,” said Pabst.

“There were other drivers – the amount of promotion and marketing by Channel 9, euphoria, the celebrity factor – that really drove the price. It was more about the experience rather than the property.”

“Buyers are thinking, ‘I can afford to buy that property, I want almost to brag to my friends that I bought The Block.’ So price was a secondary factor.”

Pabst pointed to another big celebrity sale which had similar results.

“Another example of that was the former Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s house in Altona. We were expecting high $600,000s to early $700,000s, and it ended up at $950,000 plus.”

On Channel 9’s A Current Affair, Pabst gave Brad and Dale’s apartment the highest value at $2.25 million, followed by Kyal and Kara’s, Alisa and Lysandra’s and finally Steve and Chantelle’s – the exact reverse of the outcomes on auction day. (For what it’s worth, Property Observer predicted that Brad and Dale’s apartment would win, with Steve and Chantelle’s coming in second)

The final results: 

  1. Steve and Chantelle, 1/47 O’Grady: $2.47 million ($636,000 above the adjusted reserve)
  2. Alisa and Lysandra, 3/47 O’Grady: $2.375 million ($616,000 above the adjusted reserve)
  3. Kyal and Kara, 2/47 O’Grady: $2.44 million ($567,250 above the adjusted reserve)
  4. Brad and Dale, 4/47 O’Grady: $2.31 million ($507,250 above the adjusted reserve)

According to Pabst, the sales order played into the final result. Brad and Dale's property was auctioned first, then Kyal and Kara's, the twins', and Steve and Chantelle's.

“The order of proceedings was definitely a factor. It does come down to supply and demand. If there are seven or eight buyers and three have sold, then you have three or four people competing for the final apartment. But it’s an emotion driven purchase, rather than a purchase based on fundamental value,” he said.

“Apartment 1 was the most inferior but got the highest result.

“The quality of the cabinetry was inferior. The position of the staircase (it was a spiral metal staircase), the general layout of the apartment and the quality of the fixtures and finishes - when you’re spending $2 million plus, these details count.”

While he believes the final sales prices were 10-15% above the properties’ true values, he said the rarity and location of the properties would also have driven up prices.

Valentic, who had also picked Brad and Dale’s apartment as the winner, thought that if the order of sales was shaken up, the final results may have been different.

“The order will always have an influence,” he said. “So if the order was reversed and Brad and Dale weren’t first – if they were close to last, they would have had a better chance.”

While the young couple who bought Steve and Chantelle’s renovation preferred that apartment, they would have bid on the other properties if they had missed out on 1/47 early on.

“We were going for the two north facing ones for the home buyers, and the preference was for Chantelle and Steve’s apartment. But if those two north facing ones had gone earlier, they would have had a go at the other ones. They just wanted to be in the area,” said Valentic.

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