The Block first blasted its way onto our screens in 2003 and we have been hooked for 15 seasons ever since. The winning formula of amazing room reveals with nail-biting finishes, our Aussie love of DIY and the drama between contestants as couples, partners, family members and friends battle exhaustion and budgets have us glued to the TV.
It might surprise you that 11 of the 15 seasons have been filmed in Melbourne. Some of our most popular lifestyle and expensive suburbs have been centre stage including Albert Park, Richmond, South Yarra and St Kilda.
We decided it was time to find out what each winning Melbourne property was worth in today’s market and our Senior Buyer Agent, Antony Bucello completed a desktop analysis for each and calculated their current estimated market value. It became apparent during our research that the spectacle of buying a Block property under lights and camera may have had some people paying more than they probably should! Each property came with every bell and whistle but typically, furniture, home automation, decor and appliances don’t appreciate. Our assessment revealed that only 6 out of the 11 have enjoyed positive growth since Block auction day, acknowledging some only sold 1-2 years ago. However, for many of the properties taken over by investors, they do attract a premium rent and a very high depreciation. One property for its first five years claimed approximately $45,000 per annum in depreciation!
Our deep dive into The Block has revealed the property worth the most money now, the property that experienced the most growth and the property that saw the winning contestants walk away with the biggest cash prize. Interestingly, none of these properties are the same!
Season 4, the first Block season to take part in Melbourne featured rundown worker cottages in Richmond. Richmond at only 3kms east of the CBD has undergone a steady process of gentrification since the 1990s and is now one of Melbourne’s most highly desired suburbs.
There is no shortage of shops, cafes and restaurants. It has an eclectic mix of housing from Victorian terraces to warehouse conversions and townhouse development. It is home to some of Melbourne’s largest sporting venues, The MCG, Melbourne Park and AAMI Park. Richmond is well serviced by Richmond train station which is a major hub for 8 different train lines and trams running along Swan St and Bridge Rd.
Season 4 The Block 2011 (Highest Growth, Lowest Winnings)
|Address||39 Cameron Street|
|Winning Team||Polly & Waz|
|3 Beds | 2 Baths | 0 Cars|
|Block Sold Price||$855,000|
|Total Winnings||$115,000 (inc $100k prize)|
|Estimated Value Now||$1,350,000|
|Change in Price||$495,000|
|Overall Growth (2011-2020)||57.8%|
|Average Growth per Year||6.4%|
Cameron Street in Richmond is a relatively quiet street and is close to all the main amenities, shops, cafes, restaurants and trams. There are a few small industrial sights nearby including a car park across the road from the house. The house has a good floorplan and an extended indoor/outdoor living area with a great deck. A private car park would have attracted a premium for this property.
Unfortunately, for Polly and Waz they walked away with the lowest winnings from all of The Block seasons at $115,000 (including the $100,000 cash prize). However, the owners are sitting pretty as this property has experienced the highest average annual growth (approx. 6.4% pa) of all the Melbourne Block properties.
South Melbourne, one of the 3 suburbs that featured twice in The Block is an inner-city suburb 3kms from the CBD. It has a young demographic (average age 20-39) that enjoy visiting all that Bay Street and Clarendon Street have to offer. It is home to South Melbourne Market, a quintessential village market, a place where people can shop, meet, eat and drink.
There are multiple tram options that will get you about or into town. However, considering it neighbours Southbank you could just walk! It is bounded by The Royal Botanic Gardens and Albert Park Lake, both popular destinations for exploring and exercising. There is a good mixture of homes including plenty of period properties.
Season 5 The Block 2012
|Address||405 Dorcas Street|
|Winning Team||Brad & Lara|
|3 Beds | 2 Baths | 0 Cars|
|Block Sold Price||$1,620,000|
|Total Winnings (inc $100k)||$606,000|
|Estimated Value Now||$2,100,000|
|Change in Price||$480,000|
|Overall Growth (2012-2020)||30%|
|Average Growth per Year||3.7%|
This seasoned featured rundown terrace houses on Dorcas Street. Dorcas Street can be a bit of thoroughfare as it traverses South Melbourne from east to west.
The winning apartment was a medium size 3 story family home with a good floor plan with decent size bedrooms and two internal living areas. One providing good indoor/outdoor living with a deck and BBQ area. The South facing living could have been dark but the architect maximised natural light with multiple well-placed large patio doors. For a family home, a car space or two would have been great. However, the wow factor was certainly present with a rooftop entertainers’ deck with 180-degree views to the city.
Brad and Lara walked away with a decent amount of change at $606,000 and the owners who have never sold have enjoyed around 3.7% average growth per year.
Season 7 Sky High 2013 (2nd Lowest Winnings)
|Address||1/142 Park Street|
|Winning Team||Alisa & Lysandra|
|3 Beds | 4 Baths | 2 Cars|
|Block Sold Price||$1,435,000|
|Total Winnings (inc $100k)||$395,000|
|Estimated Value Now||$1,800,000|
|Change in Price||$365,000|
|Overall Growth (2011-2020)||25%|
|Average Growth per Year||3.6%|
The second Block series featured in South Melbourne was Season 7 Sky High. Sky High was a multi-story rundown motel where each Block apartment occupied an entire floor. Season 7 is when the perennial favourites, twin sisters Alisa and Lysandra, first made their big splash on TV.
Park Street is well located, just a short walk to the Royal Botanic Gardens. It does carry a little bit of traffic and trams run-down part of the road but fortunately not in front of Sky High.
The winning apartment on Level 1 with lift access has a solid floorplan with 3 large bedrooms and an ensuite for each, or in the case of the master 2 ensuites! It enjoys a north-facing terrace, a communal rooftop area for entertaining and 2 car parks. At the time, this development was Melbourne’s first 8 Star Energy Rating!
The owners corp fees are likely to be relatively high with a lift and communal rooftop deck.
Albert Park is a beautiful waterfront suburb 4kms south of the CBD. It is characterised by wide streets, heritage buildings, terraced houses, open air cafes, parks and significant stands of mature exotic trees. Albert Park has a long beach frontage and is home to Albert Park Lake, which has famously hosted the Australian Grand Prix since 1996.
Season 8 Fans vs Faves 2014 (Great Location)
|Address||1/47 O’Grady Street|
|Winning Team||Alisa & Lysandra|
|Property Type||Warehouse Apartment|
|3 Beds | 3 Baths | 2 Cars|
|Block Sold Price||$2,470,000|
|Total Winnings (inc $100k)||$736,000|
|Estimated Value Now||$2,300,000|
|Change in Price||-$170,000|
|Overall Growth (2014-2020)||-7%|
|Average Growth per Year||-1.1%|
This season saw a 1912 theatre conversion into tri-level warehouse apartments on a nice residential street in a blue-ribbon locale.
The floorplan features a few negatives – a spiral staircase is not everyone’s cup of tea and there was a missed opportunity to put a full bedroom on the first floor, which may have increased the appeal to a younger downsizer. However, two car spaces and a storage cage are very handy and the private rooftop terrace certainly brings the wow! An entertainers delight with city views. There is also a surprise communal indoor heated pool on the ground floor.
It is difficult to find evidence that this apartment was worth $2.5 million in 2014. The current median house price in Albert Park is $2,052,500 and it might be more appealing to buyers to secure a 3-bedroom house than an apartment.
This property saw Alisa and Lysandra, in their second Block appearance, rake in the money. With a reserve of $1,834,000 and a selling price of $2,470,000 they walked away with a cool $736,000 (including the 100k cash prize). Alisa and Lysandra total winnings now from 2 seasons of the Block was $1,131,000.
Prahran, colloquially known as “Pran”, is an inner south-eastern suburb 5 kilometres from the CBD.
It is home to part of the famous and popular Chapel Street. Chapel Street, running 4.14km is Victoria’s largest retail, entertainment and lifestyle precinct, with over 2200 retail shops, cafes, restaurants, bars, pubs and nightclubs. If that wasn’t enough options, Prahran is also home to Greville St, once the centre of Melbourne’s hippie community, which has many boutique shops and eateries. It also shares Prahran Market, the ultimate foodie experience in a market atmosphere, with its wealthy neighbour, South Yarra.
Season 9 Glasshouse 2014 (3rd Lowest Winnings)
|Address||4/125 High Street|
|Winning Team||Simon & Shannon|
|3 Beds | 2 Baths | 2 Cars|
|Block Sold Price||$1,900,000|
|Total Winnings (inc $100k)||$435,000|
|Estimated Value Now||$2,000,000|
|Change in Price||$100,000|
|Overall Growth (2014-2020)||5%|
|Average Growth per Year||0.9%|
As soon as you see the street name “High Street” in a property address, you know it is on a main road that carries traffic and whilst it may give you great access to amenities, a quieter residential street would be preferred.
However, what this property lacks in street location it makes up for in size. You could almost consider this property a townhouse due to its generous proportions. The floorplan has 3 large bedrooms, a dedicated study zone and a sizable terrace. If we were to be super critical there seems to be wasted space at the entrance and the laundry at the front door is not ideal. Increasing the appeal is two private car spaces and a secure 70sqm storeroom.
The use of a central void and the title “Glasshouse” means there is lots of natural light. You just have to decide if living on a main road is for you.
South Yarra is an inner south-eastern suburb 4 km from the CBD. It is home to some of Melbourne’s most prestigious residential addresses. Residential land price records (per square metre) have been set by properties on Domain Road, Walsh Street and Fairlie Court!
Like Prahran, it is home to part of the popular Chapel Street. Chapel Street running 4.14km is Victoria’s largest retail, entertainment and lifestyle precinct, with over 2200 retail shops, cafes, restaurants, bars, pubs and nightclubs. The South Yarra section of the famous street is the most fashionable and upmarket end. It also shares Prahran Market, the ultimate foodie experience in a market atmosphere, with its neighbour Prahran. Toorak Road and the Jam Factory provide even more shopping options or a cinema experience.
South Yarra is partly bounded by the Yarra River and the Royal Botanic Gardens. Two train lines pass through South Yarra station providing frequent train services.
Season 10 Triple Threat 2015 (Most Winnings)
|Address||4/27 Darling Street|
|Winning Team||Darren & Deanne|
|3 Beds | 2 Baths | 2 Cars|
|Block Sold Price||$2,290,000|
|Total Winnings (inc $100k)||$935,000|
|Estimated Value Now||$2,400,000|
|Change in Price||$110,000|
|Overall Growth (2015-2020)||5%|
|Average Growth per Year||1.0%|
This former 1970’s apartment block saw the winning couple, Darren and Deane, returning contestants, walk away with the most prize winnings in one season in Block history. A red hot $935,000! The judges loved their room reveals, awarding them the winning room 5 out of 10 judgements, including a perfect room score for their terrace.
The north-facing terrace townhouse has a good floorplan; however, 4 levels may not appeal to everyone, especially with the master bedroom at the top! The third bedroom is a little small and just as a fun idea maybe a laundry shoot would have been beneficial with the bedrooms all upstairs and the laundry on the lower floor!
The expansive open living extends seamlessly to a private courtyard with multiple floor to ceiling bi-fold doors. The double garage on the lower floor has a 400-bottle wine cellar which is a nice touch. Darling Street is close to Toorak Road and all its amenities, but the train line runs down behind the houses on the opposite side of the street.
Season 11 The Blocktagon 2015 (3rd Highest Winnings)
|Address||6/1a Affleck Street|
|Winning Team||Dean & Shay|
|Property Type||Penthouse Apartment|
|3 Beds | 3 Baths | 2 Cars|
|Block Sold Price||$2,300,000|
|Total Winnings (inc $100k)||$755,000|
|Estimated Value Now||$2,200,000|
|Change in Price||($100,000)|
|Overall Growth (2015-2020)||-4%|
|Average Growth per Year||-0.9%|
Unfortunately, the location for this Block is relatively poor as it corners busy Commercial Road. Presenting a further challenge was the property shape, a multi-story former hotel in the shape of an octagon. Australian’s generally love open plan living areas and this was going to be difficult to achieve. The architects made their best efforts, but it still resulted in an unusual footprint.
However, the winning apartment, the penthouse, netted $2.3 million and Dean and Shay won $755,000 in cash prizes, which is the third highest winning total in Melbourne. The apartment enjoys north facing living/dining and a terrace with city views. The views don’t stop there with balconies off every room. A double garage and a communal rooftop terrace all add to the appeal but watch out for the owners corp fees with the lift and communal areas adding to the fee.
This winning property is the only one that has resold since The Block auction. Three years later it sold in 2018 for $2,365,000. Only gaining $65,000 more dollars.
Port Melbourne is situated 5 kilometres southwest of the CBD and is a former industrial zone that’s becoming an upscale place to live. It has transformed from being known as a poorer suburb to one of the wealthiest in the area in the past few decades. Homes in Port Melbourne are a collection of swank apartments, Victorian timber worker cottages, and semi-detached townhouses.
If you like water there is no shortage, it is bordered by the Yarra River and Port Phillip Bay. One of our staff members loves to ride along the Yarra through Southbank and down Port Melbourne’s light rail through green parks. It reaches Port Phillip Bay where you could cycle all the way to the Mornington Peninsula if your legs had it in them!
The West Gate and CityLink, provide excellent transport links and Bay Street has all the amenities you could need.
Season 12 The Block 2016 (2nd Highest Winnings)
|Address||1/164 Ingles Street|
|Winning Team||William & Karlie|
|Property Type||Courtyard Apartment|
|3 Beds | 2 Baths | 1 Cars|
|Block Sold Price||$2,600,000|
|Total Winnings (inc $100k)||$815,000|
|Estimated Value Now||$2,500,000|
|Change in Price||-$100,000|
|Overall Growth (2016-2020)||-4%|
|Average Growth per Year||-1.0%|
This time the Block took place in a heritage art deco building, the winning apartment was fan faves William and Karlie’s who netted the second highest winnings in Block history at $815,000.
This courtyard apartment, comparable to a town house boasts an excellent floor-plan. It is straightforward with open plan living that extends into an alfresco area. It has 3 generous size bedrooms, an oversize ensuite, a private courtyard and a single car space. Like all the other Block properties it comes with all the bells and whistles, but people fell hard for William and Karlie’s aesthetics.
This part of Ingles Street isn’t in the best location with light industry around however it is close to the light rail and Bay Street shops and restaurants. The buyers probably paid a little over at the time but overall this one was nice!
Elsternwick is an inner suburb 9kms south-east of the CBD. At 9kms it is the furthest suburb from the city centre for The Block. However, at under 10kms that is still very close. It has a slightly more suburban feel but in all the good ways, there are amazing tree-lined streets with period homes stretching down them.
You could spin the bottle and head in any direction and have entertainment or shopping options. The beach, restaurants and bars in Chapel St, major shopping centres, the Caulfield Racecourse, St Kilda and the MCG are all easy to get to via car or public transport.
Season 13 The Block 2017 (Great Location)
|Address||46E Regent Street|
|Winning Team||Elyse & Josh|
|5 Beds | 4 Baths | 3 Cars|
|Block Sold Price||$3,067,000|
|Total Winnings (inc $100k)||$547,000|
|Estimated Value Now||$3,100,000|
|Change in Price||$93,000|
|Overall Growth (2017-2020)||3%|
|Average Growth per Year||1.0%|
After a few seasons of apartments and townhouses, this one saw our contestants renovating rundown weatherboard houses.
This season is one of our favourite locations. Regent Street is a nice suburban residential street with very little through traffic. There is train and tram transports options nearby and shops around the corner. Caulfield Grammar a popular private school is located nearby as well. It is possibly only equalled by O’Grady St in Albert Park for location.
The floor plan for living areas is good, including a family room for the kids and a lounge for the grown-ups. However, the master bedroom (and a second bedroom) are located above the garage which is separate from the main residence. Not sure about running from the main house to my bedroom in the middle of winter!
There are 3 bedrooms in the main residence whilst they don’t look quite big enough (the floorplan doesn’t have measurements on it), it would have been good if one of them could have been the main bedroom especially if you had small children! The above garage accommodation would be good as a teenage retreat, for visitors or even a BnB scenario.
Comedian and radio host Dave Hughes famously purchased this property, the 3rd most expensive in Block history. He is quoted as saying “I had trouble renting it. It took a while.” “At one point the real estate agent rang me and said, ‘someone wants to move in but they’ve got a dog’. I felt like saying, ‘I don’t care whether they’ve got a meth lab’. Let’s hope he was just having a little joke with his listeners!
St Kilda is home to some of Victoria’s best-known tourist attractions and is renowned for its unique atmosphere and diversity. For those who like the outdoors, you can enjoy the beautiful beaches which cover some 11.6 km of foreshore from Port Melbourne through St Kilda to Elwood. There are lush parks and gardens and a foodie paradise along Fitzroy and Acland Streets. Amble along St Kilda’s historic pier to visit the resident penguins and enjoy an ice cream or watch budding kiteboarders show off their style on the beach.
And of course, St Kilda is home to Luna Park, an iconic amusement park with unique rides, delicious food and holiday events for the perfect family fun day.
Season 14 The Gatwick 2014 (Underdog Winners)
|Address||202/34 Fitzroy Street|
|Winning Team||Hayden & Sara|
|3 Beds | 2 Baths | 1 Cars|
|Block Sold Price||$3,020,000|
|Total Winnings (inc $100k)||$645,000|
|Estimated Value Now||$2,750,000|
|Change in Price||-$270,000|
|Overall Growth (2019-2020)||-9%|
|Average Growth per Year||-4.5%|
The Gatwick hotel was an infamous rooming house in St Kilda for the old, infirmed, downtrodden or drug or alcohol-addicted who could afford a night in the dilapidated but cleanish rooms. However, the owners, two sisters, after reportedly struggling with the cost of ongoing upkeep put it on the market in December 2015 where the Block bought it for $10m.
The underdogs, Sara and Hayden were crowned the winners of the 14th season of the Block, pocketing a $645,000. The contestants transformed the 240 sqm sub-penthouse apartment with grand luxury and from memory the most expensive bathroom of all Block time!
It is a straightforward floorplan with bedrooms and bathrooms down one side of the hall and an open kitchen and living leading to a large north facing balcony on the other, with a single car park and storage cage in the basement.
Overall the floor-plan is good with a nice open kitchen and living which allows easy access to the sizeable balcony. The master bedroom would have been better located at the front of the property and the third bedroom in its place. Also, the walk-in robe at the front of the property is too big – a bit smaller and the creation of a study or more appropriate study area would have worked better in our opinion.
Fitzroy St is well known and centrally located with Albert Park across the road, but it is busy with trams and traffic. Comedian and radio host Dave Hughes famously purchased this property
Season 15 The Block 2019 (Highest Sold Price)
|Address||34B Grey Street|
|Winning Team||William & Karlie|
|Property Type||Terrace House|
|4 Beds | 4 Baths | 2 Cars|
|Block Sold Price||$3,620,000|
|Total Winnings (inc $100k)||$730,000|
|Estimated Value Now||$3,250,000|
|Change in Price||-$370,000|
|Overall Growth (2019-2020)||-10%|
|Average Growth per Year||-10%|
The Oslo, another former hotel located in St Kilda was the location for Season 15. It may come as no surprise that the latest completed season apartment sold for the most money of all The Block winning properties at $3,620,000. However, interestingly, 4 previous winning apartments all picked up bigger cash prizes.
This tri-level terrace style apartment was designed to be the ultimate entertainer’s home including a private courtyard and double car space. Again, we have a spiral staircase to get you between floor 1, 2 and 3 which we aren’t fans of however it is inside a central void which brings in significant natural light that would have been missing otherwise. The property does boast 4 bedrooms and bathrooms and a porch or balcony on each floor and a rooftop terrace.
Unfortunately, due to the premium it attracted at The Block auction we calculated the present-day market value as suffering a 10% loss and it is now an estimated $3,250,000, $370,000 down in value.
This property is centrally located however Grey St does carry through traffic which is not ideal. The floor plan is ok with multiple living zones but there are some things that could have been better. For example, the bedroom on the first floor has a massive ensuite and little robes and the bedroom on the second floor should have an ensuite instead of 2 walk-in robes.
Well, now you have it. You now know which Block properties are worth the most, experienced the most growth (or the most lost!) and which ones saw the winning contestants walk away with the most winnings.
You also know that the owners of winning properties are reluctant to sell their brag-worthy purchases with only 1 reselling since The Block auction.
We like you will be glued to our TV for the 16th season of The Block in the affluent suburb of Brighton. Brighton like all previous seasons is located south side of the Yarra and close to the CBD (11kms). This season a large parcel of land has been subdivided into five lots and five run-down houses – each from a different era – have been relocated to the site.
We can’t wait to see what each team dreams up in the attempt to be the winners of The Block 2020. Tools up people!
Bonus – Download our inner workings table. See all the data for the winning properties in one page!
Estimated current values were calculated by completing a desktop analysis. Data was sourced from Agent Listings, Realestate.com.au, REIV licensed software, VIC land data and Wikipedia (for reserves and total winnings). Estimated values were calculated in the month of August 2020. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information, no guarantee is given nor responsibility taken for errors or omissions in this report. The information enclosed in this report is for general use only and does not constitute professional advice and should not be relied upon as such. All photos are sourced from www.realestate.com.au.