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Does auction order affect final sales result of The Block properties?

We've crunched the numbers to see how auction order influences the final sale price of The Block properties.

We know that The Block property auctions are a real estate experiment where one apartment can blitz its reserve, while another- just two doors down- only sells for just above market value. What we want to know is: to what extent does the auction order on the show influence the sale price?

As the contestants approach the grand finale of each season, tension escalates. They’ve done the hard yards. They know their reserves. And now, all that’s left to decide is auction order.

So why do the contestants bicker over the order in which their property is auctioned? And why do they always have to resort to a lottery draw from Scott Cam’s hat?

Most Blockheads know that the contestants frequently see red when it comes to deciding the auction order. Across all seasons, the contestants hold a general belief that properties that are auctioned 3rd or 4th have a strategic advantage. In particular, most contestants wholeheartedly believe that properties that are auctioned last tend to perform better due to "buyer desperation" amongst the registered bidders who have missed out on previous apartments.

When advised by their agent, the amicable contestants propose that properties be auctioned in the order of their reserves. That is, the property with the highest reserve should be auctioned first, followed by the property with the second highest reserve, and so on. This is because the property that has the highest valuation will set the benchmark for the remaining auctions which will (hopefully) have a ripple effect.

We believe that auction order may impact the final sale price to some extent, but there is no formula that determines which auction position is the most strategic. The final result is dependent on a plethora of factors, and to some degree (and it pains us to say this), it is just luck of the draw. Additionally, the sale price is dependent on market conditions, property features (e.g. is it north-facing or is it larger compared to the competing properties?), as well as the skill of the auctioneer and the depth of the buyer’s pockets.

ALSO READ; check out renovation tips from The Block Triple Threat's, Josh and Charlotte.

WATCH; The Block Triple Threat's, Josh and Charlotte's, auction advice.

Our train of thought

As the reserve price indicates the lowest offer the seller is willing to accept, we investigated the average difference between the reserve and auction price to see whether auction position has a strategic influence on the final sale price. In theory, the auction order that corresponds to the highest disparity between auction and sale price would be the most strategic auction order. We’ve rolled through the footage, crunched the numbers and come up with an analysis of all auctions from seasons 1-10 to find out whether a particular auction order positively, and consistently, impacts sale price.

Watch our interview with The New Block 2015's winning auctioneer Damien Cooley

 

Aggregate Findings

For all properties that went under the hammer for seasons 1-10 of The Block, and were auctioned from positions 1-4;

FirstSecondThirdFourth
Average profit$291,325$255,295$294,727$278,227

Based on the average differences between the reserve prices and the respective sale price of the properties, it appears that properties that are auctioned 1st or 4th provide contestants with higher profitability. Our findings indicate that the properties that were auctioned 1st or 4th have the highest disparity between the reserve and the final sale price, with $291,325.00 and $267,050.101 profit respectively.

Properties that auctioned 1st

For all properties that went to auction from seasons 1-11 of The Block, and went under the hammer first on auction day;

  • A total of 3/11 properties, or 27% of properties finished first place and took home the $100,000 cash prize.
  • A total of 2/11 properties, or 18% of properties, finished second place.
  • A total of 4/11 properties, or 36% of properties finished third place.
  • A total of 3/11 properties, or 27% of properties, finished fourth.
  • With 27% of The Block seasons having a fifth couple or property none of those seasons had the property that went fifth in auction win.

Insight: There is a marginal advantage for properties that were auctioned first in terms of taking home The Block title, but it seems that you are more likely to place third on auction day.

Properties that auctioned 2nd

For all properties that went to auction from seasons 1-11 of The Block, and were auctioned second;

  • A total of 2/11 properties, or 18% of properties, won.
  • A total of 3/11 properties, or 27% of properties, finished second place.
  • A total of 3/11 properties, or 27% of properties, finished third.
  • A total of 2/11 properties, or 18% of properties, finished fourth.
  • A total of 1/11 properties, or 9% of properties finished fifth when there were five couples

Insight: The majority of properties that were auctioned second finished second or third place for the competition.

Properties that auctioned 3rd

For all properties that went to auction from seasons 1-11 of The Block, and were auctioned third;

  • A total of 3/11 properties, or 27% of properties, won.
  • A total of 2/11 properties, or 18% of properties, finished second.
  • A total of 3/11 properties, or 27% of properties, finished third place.
  • A total of 3/11 properties, or 27% of properties, finished fourth.

Insight: There was no clear winner in terms of where you will end up if you are auctioned third on The Block.

Properties that auctioned 4th

For all properties that went under the hammer from seasons 1-11 of The Block, and were auctioned fourth;

  • A total of 3/11 properties or 27% of properties, won.
  • A total of 3/11 properties or 27% of properties, finished second place.
  • A total of 2/11 properties or 18% of properties, finished third.
  • A total of 3/11 properties or 27% of properties, finished fourth.

Insight: Again there was no clear indicator that going fourth would get you any particular place on auction day.

Properties that auctioned 5th

With three seasons of The Block so far having a fifth couple and property go up for auction it was interesting to see that none of the properties that were put to auction fifth, or last for that season, ended up taking out the win. With Kim and Matt from Sky High going fifth and unfortunately coming in fifth on auction day. Carlene and Michael from Glasshouse's property was the fifth one to go under the hammer for that season and they tied with Bec and George that season for fourth on auction day. The best performers when it comes to the properties that went under the hammer fifth is Blocktagon's Ebony and Luke who ended the season in second place.

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Season by season

Season 1 (2003)

Interestingly, Season 1 was the only series of The Block where all apartments were given the same reserve of $595,000. The contestants were able to keep the profit they made above this reserve and whoever made the highest profit would take home the grand prize of $100,000 tax-free.

ContestantsAuction OrderReserveOverall ResultAuction sale priceWinnings
Adam & Fiona4th$595,000Won$751,000.00$156,000
Kylie & Paul3rd$595,0002nd$747,000$152,000
Gavin & Warren2nd$595,0003rd$670,000$75,000
Amity & Phil1st$595,0004th$655,000.00$60,000

Unable to decide between themselves, the contestants pulled numbers from a sand-filled wheelbarrow to decide on auction order. As illustrated above, it appears that the properties that were auctioned fourth or third took provided the greatest winnings from Season 1. The winning contestants, Adam and Fiona, who went in fourth position made, a profit of $156,000, followed by Kylie and Paul, who went in 3rd position, with $152,000 profit.

The Block Season 1 Fiona and Adam

Contestants by auction order

1. Amity and Phil

Although their first-ever auction was filmed on national television, Amity and Phil had several registered buyers in the crowd. With an opening bid of $590,000, the bidding was slow.  Potential buyers made painful bid increases of $1,000 until they reached the final sale price of $655,000. This left them with a $60,000 profit, which worked out to be $6,000 per week that they were on the show (not bad!).

2. Gavin and Warren

The first paddle went up for $500,000 and the bidding was underway. As two prospective buyers entered a bidding war, the property was finally sold for $670,000, which provided the boys with a $75,000 profit.

3. Kylie and Paul

For Kylie and Paul, the bidding started high at $610,000. However, this soon slowed down as the bids were made in $1,000 and even $500 increments until the apartment was sold for $747,000, which left them with $152,000 winnings.

4. Adam and Fiona

Fiona was decked out with her good luck charms as the couple anxiously awaited their auction results. The auctioneer requested an opening bid of $650,000 but accepted $600,000. Shortly after this opening bid, an offer of $750,000 was made and Adam and Fiona knew that they’ve not only won a quarter of a million dollars, but they’ve taken the title of the first season of The Block. The hammer falls at $751,000, which gives the winning contestants a profit of $156,000 and total winnings of $256,000.

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Season 2 (2004)

The second series of the Australian renovation series was the first in which all properties were given an individual reserve (and rightly so!)

ContestantsAuction OrderReserveOverall ResultAuction Sale PriceWinnings
Jason & Kirsten2nd$795,0002nd$872,000$77,000
Richard & Steven4th$800,0003rd (tied)$800,000$0
Matt & Jane1st$795,0003rd (tied)$795,000$0
Andrew & Jamie3rd$790,000Won$868,000$78,000

The auction results from Season 2 suggest that the properties that were auctioned 2nd and 3rd provided the greatest financial gain for the respective contestants. The winning property of Andrew and Jamie went under the hammer third and provided the highest profit of $78,000 followed by Jason and Kirsten’s property that was auctioned 2nd and offered $77,000 winnings (not far behind the winners). As we rewind the footage, we’re reminded of just how long ago Season 2 was filmed if (“Let’s Get it Started” by the Black Eyed Peas, really!?).

The Block Season 2 Winners Jamie and Andrew

Contestants by auction order

1. Matt and Jane

The reserve was set at $795,000 and the first paddle was raised for $750,000 but unfortunately Matt and Jane’s apartment is sold at market price, and they broke even.

2. Jason and Kirsten

Jason and Kirsten’s apartment was the largest apartment by 18 square meters, so they entered the auction feeling hopeful. The first offer made was seemingly low, but the bidders continued to outbid one another until the property went for $872,000. It’s hard to believe that Matt and Jane, who had the same reserve as Jason and Kirsten, made zero profit, which just goes to show that auctions can be based on luck.

3. Andrew and Jamie

The first paddle goes up at $740,000 and the property is sold for $868,000 which gave Andrew and Jamie the winning profit of $78,000 as they took out the title for The Block Season 2 with a total combined winnings of $178,000.

4. Richard and Steven

The final auction for Season 2 commenced quickly with an initial offer of $750,000 which was soon followed by $800,000. Unfortunately, the bidders did not raise the offers any further, but as they were on the market, they had to “play for keeps”, and the apartment was sold at $800,000 with no profit.

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Season 3 (2010)

ContestantsAuction OrderReserveOverall ResultAuction Sale PriceWinnings
Neisha & John1st$900,000won$1,105,000$205,000
Mark & Duncan2nd$860,0003rd$907,000$47,000
Erin & Jake4th$910,0002nd$997,500$87,500
Brenton & Chez3rd$880,0004thNot sold at auction$0.00

Auction day panned out a little differently in Season 3. Winning contestants Neisha and John pocketed $205,000 and their property went under the hammer first. Erin and Jake’s property was auctioned in fourth place which provided the couple with $87,500 in profit. In this case, it seems that auction positions 1 and 4 were the most strategic.

Winning contestants, John and Neisha, after their auction on The Block.

Contestants by auction order

1. John and Neisha

The auctioneer set a vendor bid at $880,000 which was soon followed by $920,000, and they were above reserve. John and Neisha’s property sold, and they were left with a $205,000 profit.

2. Mark and Duncan

In order to get proceedings under way, the auctioneer asked for an initial bid of $750,000 and then quickly hit reserve. The apartment sold for a $907,000 price tag and the boys walked away with a $47,000 injection in their bank accounts.

3. Brenton and Chez

The outcome wasn’t as promising for contestants Brenton and Chez. With a reserve set at $880,000, bidding starts low and the final call is made at $840,000. The auctioneer places a vendor bid at $860,000 and encourages bidders to come back in at $880,000 which is not offered. Reluctantly, the property was passed in.

4. Erin and Jake

For Erin and Jake, the bidding commenced low at $800,000 which was well below their reserve and the property was eventually sold for $997,500 which gave them $87,500 winnings.

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Season 4 (2011)

ContestantsAuction OrderReserveOverall ResultAuction sale priceWinnings
Tania & Rod4th$850,0002ndPassed in at $832,000$0
Jenna & Josh1st$950,0003rdPassed in at $901,000$0
Polly & Waz2nd$840,000won$855,000$15,000
Katrina & Amie3rd$860,0004th$860,000$0

The results of the Super Challenge determined auction order for Season 4. As a result, the team that came first in the final challenge, Tania and Rod, had first dibs on auction order. As our findings suggest, the most advantageous auction position for Season 4 was second place, however, it’s important to realise that half of the properties were passed in during this auction.

Winning contestants, Polly and Waz, during their auction on The Block.

Contestants by auction order

1. Josh and Jenna

The first auction for Season 4 was painfully quiet (you could hear a pin drop), as bidders were reluctant to make an initial offer. The auctioneer placed a vendor bid of $900,000 which was just $50,000 short of the reserve, and the auctioneer announced that he will only take rises of $20,000. To entice the crowd, the auctioneer cited the desirable features of the property and appealed to investors by saying the apartment would rent for approximately $1,200 per week. The first bid was made at just $901,000, and the property was passed in. This was a disappointing result for Josh and Jenna, but little did they know that they would pocket $275,000 when they return for the All Star series in a few years time.

2. Polly and Waz

With eight potential buyers, Polly and Waz had a reserve of $840,000 and all commission made from the sale was donated to Heart Kids. The contract hits the auctioneer’s hand at $8,000 and the pair walked away with $15,000.

3. Katrina and Aime

The contestants knew that they needed to sell for $875,000 to be in front. With a very excited auctioneer, the first bid was made at $715,000 and Amy holds her poker face, even when the property was sold on market at $860,000.

4. Tania and Rod

The initial bid of $750,000 set the scene for the final property to be auctioned for Season 4. However, the bidding came to a halt and the buyers were “silent, finished and done” at $832,000, and the property was officially passed in. On the flip side, the auctioneer said that $25,000 would still be donated to the Breast Cancer Foundation.

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Season 5 (2012)

ContestantsAuction OrderReserveOverall ResultAuction sale priceWinnings
Brad & Lara1st$1,114,000won$1,620,000$506,000
Dani & Dan2nd$992,0002nd$1,440,00$448,000
Sophie & Dale3rd$975,0004th$1,330,000$355,000
Mike & Andrew4th$966,0003rd$1,400,001.01$434,001.01

The teams knew that auction order could make or break each team’s winning edge, and as normal, no one wants to go under the hammer first. While they contemplate going highest to lowest based on their reserve prices, they decide to ‘scissors, paper, rock’ their auction order. And in comes Scott Cam with the hat.

As the table demonstrates, the most strategic auction position for Season 5 was first and second place which yielded the highest profits of $506,000 and $448,000, respectively.

Winning contestants, Brad and Lara, after their auction on The Block.

Contestants by auction order

1. Brad and Lara

The auctioneer kicked off by requesting an initial bid of $1,000,000 and declaring that he would only accept rises of $50,000 (as Lara pointed out, this is increments of her yearly wage!). The property sold for a $1,620,000 price tag, which gave the couple a $506,000 profit- half a million bucks in just 15 minutes (nice!).

2. Dani and Dan

In order to take out the title, Dani and Dan needed to sell for $1,498,000. The auction commenced with a $1,220,000 offer which equated to a $228,000 profit. The apartment was sold for $1,440,000 and the couple took home $448,000 tax-free.

3. Sophie and Dale

To put them in front, Sophie and Dale’s property needed to go for $1,481,000. The bidding commenced at $1,100,000 which was quickly followed by $1,200,000, equating to a $225,000 profit. Once the buyers were “done, all finished and all silent”, the property went for $1,330,000 which translated to a $335,000 profit and Sophie (the “stunned mullet”) was left speechless, literally.

4. Mike and Andrew

To take out the title of Season 5, Mike and Andrew needed to sell for $1,472,000. The bidding started high at $1,302,477.11 which gave them a profit of $336,477.11. To the auctioneer’s dismay, one bidder made very specific bids, down to the dollar, and cent. As the contract hit the auctioneer’s hand, the property was sold for $1,400,001.01 to which the auctioneer said “10% of that’s going to be fun to work out”. Mike and Andrew finished with a profit of $434,001.01 (again, down to the cent!).

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Season 6: All Stars (2013)

ContestantsAuction OrderReserveOverall ResultAuction sale priceWinnings
Phil & Amity4th$1,375,000won$1,670,000 $295,000
Josh & Jenna1st$1,375,0002nd$1,650,000$275,000
Mark & Duncan2nd$1,345,0004th$1,375,000$25 000
Dan & Dani3rd$1,355,0003rd$1,575,000$220,000

Based on our research, the most strategic positions from Season 6 were 4 and 1 which provided the highest profits of $295,000 and $275,000 respectively.

Winning contestants, Phil and Amity, during their auction on The Block.

Contestants by auction order

1. Josh and Jenna

Given that their property was passed in back in 2011, Josh and Jenna watched anxiously as they let the Australian public decide on the value of their apartment. The first bid came in at $1,200,000 which was well below their reserve of $1,375,000. However, things picked up quickly as the fourth bid came in at $1,400,000 which gave the pair a $25,000 profit. Josh and Jenna’s apartment was then sold at $1,650,000 which gave them a solid $275,000 profit in their bank accounts.

2. Mark and Duncan

The bidding kicks off with an offer of $1,200,000 which is soon followed by $1,300,000. Unfortunately Mark and Duncan’s apartment is sold for just $1,370,000 which gave them $25,000 winnings. As one spectator said “He’s [the buyer] rapt because he just got the bargain of the century, without a shadow of a doubt.” It’s hard to believe that Josh and Jenna’s apartment - just two doors down - left them with $250,000 more in profit.

3. Dan and Dani

After Mark and Duncan’s auction, Dan and Dani are hoping that there are still at least two cashed-up buyers standing that are willing to fight for their apartment. Dan and Dani were “over the moon” that they scored auctioneer Scott Kennedy-Green, who’s described as a genius and a “Blocktioneer” as he’s previously conducted two winning auctions on The Block. The bidding begins at $1,300,000 and the auctioneer claimed that he’d only accept $25,000 rises. Dan and Dani’s apartment is sold for $1,575,000 which gave them $220,000 winnings.

4. Phil and Amity

With the same reserve as Josh and Jenna ($1,375,000), Phil and Amity’s auction is by far the quickest auction of the night (could it be due to buyer desperation?). The first offer is made at $1,300,00 which is shortly followed by $1,450,000 which gave them an instant profit of $75,000- and it only went upwards from there. When the apartment was sold for $1,670,000, they knew that they’d won All Stars with total winnings of $395,000 (including the $100,000 cash prize).

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Season 7: Sky High (2013)

ContestantsAuction OrderReserveOverall ResultAuction sale priceWinnings
Alisa & Lysandra1st$1,140,000won$1,435,000$295,000
Madi & Jarrod3rd$1,310,0003rd$1,601,000$291,000
Matt & Kim5th$1,205,0005th$1,455,000$250,000
Bec & George4th$1,265,0004th$1,507,000$242,000
Johnno & Trixie2nd$1,400,0002nd$1,605,000$205,000

While all couples were happy to disclose their reserves to the other contestants, Alysa and Lysandra wanted to keep their cards close to their chest. The contestants were given 10 minutes to work out the auction order between them. 25 minutes later, and they still haven’t reached a decision. Scott Cam intervened, and the auction order was left to a lottery draw. As the table indicates, the most strategic auction position for Season 7 was 1st and 3rd which provided the highest winnings of $295,000 and $291,000.

Winning contestants, Alisa and Lysandra, after their auction on The Block.

Contestants by auction order

1. Alisa and Lysandra

With the reserve set at $1,140,000, the first bid started relatively low at $1,100,000. The auctioneer encouraged the buyers to bid higher: “I was doing some calculations before about what a $10,000 bid amounts to, and with 5% interest rates it amounts to $100 a year, so if you work that back it’s about $10 a week- two cups of coffee.” Finally, the apartment was sold at $1,435,000 which left the twins with a profit of $295,000. Despite this, the twins were still hungry for the $100,000 cash prize, describing this as the “ultimate goal.”

2. Trixie and Jonno

The opening bid of $1,400,000 was on market and Trixie and Jonno’s apartment was sold for $1,605,000 which left the couple with $205,000 winnings.

3. Madi and Jarrod

With 10 registered bidders, Madi and Jarrod were relatively relaxed as they approached the “auction couch.” The first bid of $1,300,000 was just $10,000 off reserve, so they were off to a good start. The property was sold for $1,601,000 which left them with a $291,000 profit- not far behind the twins.

4. Bec and George

The initial bid of $1,300,000 provided Bec and George with an instant profit of $35,000. Bec and George’s apartment was then sold for a $1,507,000 price tag, which equated to a $242,000 profit.

5. Matt and Kim

With a reserve of $1,205,000, Matt and Kim needed to hit $1,500,000 (and one dollar) to win. Auctioneer, Damien Cooley, had won the Block twice before- so they were in capable hands. The first bid of $1,300,000 provided them with a $95,000 profit, and the property was eventually sold for $1,455,000 which gave them a $250,000 profit.

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Season 8: Fans vs. Faves

ContestantsAuction OrderReserveOverall ResultAuction sale priceWinnings
Brad & Dale1st$1,802,7504th$2,310,000$507,250
Alisa & Lysandra3rd$1,759,0002nd$2,375,000$616,000
Steve & Chantelle4th$1,834,000Won$2,470,000$636,000
Kyal & Kara2nd$1,872,7503rd$2,440,000$567,250

As Dux House was an old picture theatre, Scott Cam rummaged up some old film canisters which held numbers between 1 to 4 to be selected for auction order.

As usual, contestants were given the chance to sort out auction order amongst themselves, and if they couldn’t decide then the numbers would be drawn at random from the film canisters. Surprisingly, however, all contestants agreed on their auction position, and no claws came out. As Scott Cam commented:  “The world could have possibly gone mad,” Fans vs Faves was the first season in The Block history where contestants were able to work out auction order amongst themselves. As the above table indicates, the most strategic auction positions for Season 6 were 4th and 3rd place which provided the highest profits of $636,000 and $616,000 respectively.

Winning contestants, Steve and Chantelle, after their auction on The Block.

Contestants by auction order

1. Brad and Dale

With an opening bid of $1,700,000, Brad and Dale were rewarded with an immediate profit of $97,250. The apartment nearly went for $2,250,000 until one of the bidders decided to “phone a friend” and the apartment sold at $2,310,000, leaving the boys with $507,250 profit tax-free.

2. Kyal and Kara

The contestants had a reserve price of $1,872,750 so when the first bid came in high at $2,050,000, the couple had an instant profit of $177,250. In fact, the bidding moved so quickly that by the third bid the couple already had $377,250 in profit. Kyal asked Scott Cam to pinch him, just in case. Kyal and Kara’s apartment sold for $2,440,000 and they finished with a $567,250 profit.

3. Alysa and Lysandra

With an opening bid of $1,900,000, it didn’t take long for the twins to reach the $2 million mark. The apartment was sold for $2,375,000 which represented a $616,000 take-away profit.

4. Steve and Chantelle

The best was left for the final act for Season 8. Steve and Chantelle had to get over $1,834,000 if they wanted to beat their reserve. And if they wanted to take out the title of Fans vs Faves, they needed to sell for $616,000 (and one dollar, to be exact). The auctioneer prompted higher bidding from the buyers claiming that all previous properties sold for well under their replacement value. The bidding continued until the property was sold for a whopping $2,470,000 which resulted in a $636,000 profit for the winning contestants.

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Season 9: Glasshouse (2014)

ContestantsAuction OrderReserveOverall ResultAuction sale priceWinnings
Carlene & Michael5th$1,380,000tied 4th$1,390,000$10,000
Chris & Jenna1st$1,500,0002nd$1,810,000$310,000
Deanne & Darren4th$1,370,000tied 4th$1,380,000$10,000
Max & Karstan3rd$1,670,0003rd$1,710,000$40,000
Simon & Shannon2nd$1,565,000won$1,900,000$335,000

As the dreaded reserve prices were revealed, the teams learnt of the figures that they and their auctioneers have to beat. To settle on auction order, Scott Cam tallied up the points that the couples earned throughout the series, where the couple with the highest score would get the first choice of the position they wanted their property auctioned.

However, the auction results from Glasshouse were a flop. Scott Cam claims that this season was the “most traumatic and bizarre auction he’s ever experienced” on the show, despite the fact that no properties were actually passed in. As the table suggests, the best auction order for Season 9 was position 2 and 1 which provided the highest profits of $335,000 and $310,000.

Winning contestants, Simon and Shannon, after their auction on The Block.

Contestants by auction order

1. Chris and Jenna

To say things started slow for Chris and Jenna would be an understatement. With a seemingly high reserve of $1,500,000, the bidding started well below market at $1,400,000. Two bidders enter into rivalry as they attempt to psyche each other out by exchanging “dirties.” Although excruciating to watch, the bidding gained momentum and the apartment was sold at $1,810,000, leaving Chris and Jenna $310,000 richer.

2. Simon and Shannon

For Simon and Shannon, the bidding began at $1,700,000 which was a healthy $135,000 above their reserve. By far, this was the quickest auction of the season and Simon and Shannon walked away with a $335,000 profit in minutes, as their apartment was sold at $1,900,000.

3. Max and Karstan

Interestingly, the auctioneer decided to set the first bid himself (“to calm the nerves”) at $1,500,000- However this decision could have been detrimental to Max and Karstan’s chance of taking home a profit. With a reserve of $1,670,000, the initial bid came in quickly at $1,550,000. Ultimately the property was sold at $1,710,000 giving Max and Karstan a profit of just $40,000. Scott Cam was “flabbergasted” by the result and considering the pair got hitched earlier that week, this represented an all-time low for Max and Karstan.

4. Dea and Darren

Unfortunately things didn’t improve for Dea and Darren. In fact, things went pear-shaped for the remaining Glasshouse auctions. In our opinion, the auctioneer was considerably weaker compared to the others, as he only prompted bid increases of $5,000, rather than $10,000. The apartment sold at $1,380,000 leaving Dea and Darren with a dismal $10,000 profit- the mood was grim.

5. Carlene and Michael

Carlene and Michael’s auction wasn’t easy to watch. With an initial bid at $1,200,000, the bidding was slow (perhaps due to the auctioneer’s fast-paced and erratic tongue-rolling). The auctioneer paused the auction at $1,360,000 so that he could consult Carlene and Michael regarding the “tough crowd”. While contemplating whether or not to pass in the property, a bidder offered $1,390,000, which was unfortunately accepted. This left Carlene and Michael with the lowest profit from the series of $10,000. Australia was both devastated and shocked by the result.

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Season 10: Triple Threat (2015)

ContestantsAuction OrderReserveOverall ResultAuction sale priceWinnings
Deanne & Darren3rd$1,455,000won$2,290,000$835,000
Ayden & Jess2nd$1,335,0004th$2,000,000$665,000
Tim & Anastasia1st$1,420,0003rd$2,175,000$755,000
Josh & Charlotte4th$1,390,0002nd$2,200,000$810,000

Following the devastating results from Glasshouse, we can’t help but wonder: did Channel 9 deliberately set the reserves strategically low for Triple Threat? If we compare the winning profit of $435,000 from Glasshouse to the winning profit of $835,000 from Triple Threat, the figure has almost doubled. To celebrate The Block’s 10th anniversary, the producers baked the reserve prices inside a cake, and the contestants were required to cut the cake to learn their reserves. The most strategic auction order for Triple Threat was 3rd and 2nd which resulted in profits of $835,000 for Dea and Darren and $810,000 for Josh and Charlotte.

While Scott Cam gave the contestants the chance to sort out auction order amongst themselves, the “punching gloves” soon came out. The conversation heated up as the contestants were unable to reach a consensus. The mediator, Scott Cam, walked in to conduct the random draw.

Winning contestants, Deanne and Darren, after their auction on The Block.

Contestants by auction order

1. Tim and Anastasia

As the least desirable position, Tim and Anastasia’s apartment went under the hammer first. Their reserve of $1,420,000 was blitzed by the opening bid of $1,500 000 quickly followed by $1,600,000, and they’d already made a $150,000 profit within seconds. With a final bid of $2,175,000, Tim and Anastasia walked away with $755,000 tax-free. Shelly estimated that the couple earned approximately $75,000 per week during their time on the show-- that’s an average annual salary! Scott Cam tries to hold off Tim’s kiss, as he warns “that will be the end of it”.

2. Jess and Ayden

A nervous Jess and Ayden claimed that there may be a “pee stain” on Josh and Charlotte’s couch at the end of their auction. With a reserve of $1,355,000, the first bid of Jess and Ayden’s apartment was a whopping $1,700,000 which gave them an automatic profit of $365,000. With a final sale price of $2,000,000, Jess and Ayden walked away with $665,000 which put them in good stead to roll on over to Channel 9’s Reno Rumble.

3. Dea and Daz

Just shy of 6 months previously, Dea and Daz were in the exact same position and Shelly claims their previous auction was “heartbreaking” to watch. The initial bid of $1,900,000 was $445,000 above their reserve of $1,455,000. As they watched in suspense, Daz tells Scott Cam to “shh.” They walked away with a total combined winnings of $835,000- a dramatic improvement from their previous auction result from Glasshouse which was a mere $10,000.

4. Josh and Charlotte

As the auction began, Charlotte admitted to having less than $1,000 sitting in her bank account. Shaynna foreshadowed the atmosphere of Josh and Charlotte’s auction when she first walked into their apartment and said “This room is going to create a bidding war.” The first bid started at $1,800,000 which gave the couple an immediate profit of $410,000. The auction escalated quickly and the final sale price was $2,200,000 which handed Josh and Charlotte $810,000 tax-free.

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Season 11: Blocktagon (2015)

ContestantsAuction OrderReserveOverall ResultAuction Sale PriceWinnings
Dean and Shay3rd$1,645,000Won$2,300,000$755,000(including $100,000 cash prize)
Luke and Ebony5th$1,560,0002nd$2,200,000$640,000
Kingi and Caro1st$1,330,0003rd$1,735,000$405,000
Whitney and Andrew4th$1,400,0004th$1,790,000$390,000
Suzi and Voni2nd$1,480,0005th$1,829,000$349,000

As one of the toughest seasons to date, the results speak for themselves. After the massive results from Triple Threat the expectations were high for the Blocktagon especially as these apartments were so much bigger in terms of floor plans than any before. This season we witnessed one of the most creative ways in which contestants discovered their reserves in The Block HQ. Instructed to wear the Scann3D virtual reality headsets, contestants went on a bird’s eye view and augmented journey through their apartment for a game of hide and seek. They were asked to find where 'ForeDan' was hiding with the keys to unlock the case that contained the all-important reserve figure.

Despite their higher reserves, the strategic auction order positions of this season seemed to be third place or last place, which shows that Ebony and Luke's decision to hand their original first place choice to Caro and Kingi was a great move.

Shay and Dean

Contestants by auction order

1. Caro and Kingi

After getting the first position off Ebony and Luke, Caro and Kingi were the first apartment to go under the hammer. With their first floor apartment, they knew there may not be as much interest as the others because of the diminished view. With a reserve of $1,330,000 bidding started with an opening bid of $1,500,000 which gave them an instant profit of $170,000. Bidding was slow and steady but momentum built and Caro and Kingi had their mortgage paid off within five minutes and a final bid of $1,735,000. The couple walked away with a $405,000 profit.

2. Suzi and Voni

Next off the ranks was the Gold Coast glam girls Suzi and Voni, who needed a minimum sale price of $1,185,001 to take the lead from Caro and Kingi. With their reserve set at $1,480,000 the girls received an opening bid of $1,510,000 for an instant profit of $30,000. The hammer finally went down on a bid of $1,829,000, netting Suzi and Voni a tidy profit of $349,000; not enough to overtake Caro and Kingi but still enough to please the girls and help them with their plans.

3. Shay and Dean

The penthouse apartment was next to go under the hammer. Shay and Dean had their share of trials and tribulations during the renovation, so were eager to see if it all paid off. Their reserve was set $1,645,000 but also had the added bonus of $10,000 stashed in a safe and a brand new car in the driveway for the eventual buyers. In order to take out the Blocktagon crown, the couple needed a minimum sale price of $2,050,000. When the opening bid of $1,810,000 came out they were pleased with an instant profit of $165,000.

It didn't stop there, though, with bids rolling and the auction coming down to two buyers. Auctioneer Damien Cooley coyly pitted the buyers against each other, exclaiming, "Don't lose if for $5,000, sir". When the final hammer went down the penthouse apartment went for $2,300,000 which left Shay and Dean with the winning profit of $655,000.

4. Whitney and Andrew

Having to follow the ultimate winners was a tough spot for renovation rookies Whitney and Andrew, who before the auction informed Scott Cam they were no longer a couple so would be splitting any winnings and going their separate ways. With the reserve price set at $1,400,000 the two were eager to see what would come of the auction. The auction closed on a bid of $1,790,000, leaving the pair with winnings of $390,000 to split between them.

5. Ebony and Luke

Last were second-chance siblings from WA, Ebony and Luke. After deciding to switch their auction order with Caro and Kingi both couples were anxious to see how it would pan out. To get the title from Shay and Dean the siblings would need a minimum sale price of $2,215,000, which didn't seem to out of reach with a reserve of $1,560,000 and their keen idea to open up the plan of the living areas of their apartment. Bids opened with an instant profit for them of $50,000 from a bid of $1,610,000, but then what seemed to be disaster struck and their selfless position switching seemed to be a bad idea as bidding stalled.

Their auctioneer worked the crowd well and knew what how to do his job well as he told the crowd "Don't be shy ladies and gentlemen" in order to coax some bids. And finally, after what seemed like a lifetime for Ebony and Luke, the next bid came and then it all started to escalate quickly. The siblings looked set to possibly dethrone the penthouse with bids coming hard and fast, but the final bid came in at $2,200,000, which gave them a profit of $640,000. The siblings ended the auction just $15,000 shy of Shay and Dean's winning profit.


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It is evident that while auction order may have some impact on the final sale price of The Block properties, there are many other factors that affect the final auction result. Our findings indicate that potentially, properties that are auctioned 1st or 4th position may yield a higher profit, but results across seasons vary and can depend largely on the reserve. Auction result may be partly influenced by auction order, but it is also influenced by the profile of the buyers, the skill of the auctioneer, property-specific features as well as market and economic conditions.

*Images sourced from Channel 9.

Belinda Punshon

Belinda is a journalist here at finder.com.au. Specialising in the home loans and property sections, she is passionate about helping Australians improve their financial wellbeing.

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