At $4m is The Block still aspirational or out of reach?
It was never meant to be property porn, but The Block homes have tipped $4m. Producers maintain it's still the Great Australian Dream.
If Luxe Listings Sydney is about millionaire’s row then The Block has always been about homes that represent the Great Australian Dream.
In its first season 2003 homes in Bondi sold for around $700,000.
Fast forward to 2021 and the property market has boomed.
Executive Producer Julian Cress tells TV Tonight he isn’t so sure the homes in Hampton, south east of Melbourne, will necessarily top those sold in Brighton 2020 which saw price tags of over $4m.
“We were in, arguably, a more expensive location last year. Although these houses are bigger, the prices that we’ll be quoting for them will be lower than last year’s. But having said that, The Block‘s always been aspirational. It was designed to be that, even when we picked the very first building on Bondi Beach.
“‘If I could live there, that would be my dream!'”
“We always wanted it to be about people dreaming ‘If I could live there, that would be my dream!’ The median price when we first started The Block was probably about $400,000 and now it’s over a million. So prices have come up a lot. I think a house of $3 million plus is as aspirational now, as it was aspirational to want to live beside Bondi Beach.
“But I don’t see the show ever doing $10 million houses unless, unless we’re on air for another 17 years!”
“The viewer of The Block wants to see renovations being done to a really high standard”
If the Nine series has painted itself into a corner of continually outdoing its previous seasons, has it also put the homes out of reach of its viewing audience -and if so is that a problem for the show?
“I think that the viewer of The Block wants to see renovations being done to a really high standard. They want to see people who’ve been given an opportunity of a lifetime to execute and to realise the best reward that they can get,” he continues.
“We’ve always chosen really aspirational places to make the show and those places are the ones where prices have increased more than everywhere else.”
Renovated homes first eclipsed $1m in only its third season, then $2m in Albert Park 2014, and $4m in Elsternwick 2017 (thanks Hughesy).
“We’re basically doing the homes that you see in Neighbours”
Cress doesn’t see the show trying to replicate ‘property porn’ titles such as Luxe Listings Sydney or Selling Sunset anytime soon. In fact the Hampton series is much closer to another Australian series.
“If we were doing homes that were selling for $5m or $6m we would be jumping that shark. But I think that doing five houses of three to four bedrooms with two car garages in a cul de sac, has been proven to be the Australian dream because Ramsay Street is in its 36th season.
“We’re basically doing the homes that you see in Neighbours,” he says.
“Bronte Court is Ramsay Street. That’s what I love about it.
“It’s like Ramsay Street except everybody’s at each others’ throats all day.”
The Block continues on Nine.