The Block 2015 Shay and Dean

The Block 2015 Blocktagon: Is securing the penthouse actually important?

Will the penthouse put Dean and Shay ahead on auction day?

Last night the renovation rookies raced to deliver their main ensuites before “tools down”. For this challenge, each team had one week to spruce up their main bathroom within the multi-angled Blocktagon.

To ensure that their ensuite was up to ‘penthouse standards’, Shay and Dean went into fiscal overdrive and spent nearly a third of their entire budget during this challenge – $40,000. So we wondered; does the apartment level influence the final auction result? Is securing the penthouse all it’s cracked up to be?

If we look at the results from the previous multi-storey building throughout the series, Sky High, being on the ground floor didn’t stop Alisa and Lysandra from taking home the grand cash prize of $100,000. So while Dean and Shay are preoccupied with ‘perfecting’ their penthouse to the point of purchasing matte black toilet paper ($15 per roll!), will the penthouse put them ahead on auction day by default?

Only time will tell, but for now, we’ve compared the pros and cons of having the penthouse on The Block: Blocktagon and what this could mean on auction day.

About South Yarra

Highly sought-after for its luxurious inner-city lifestyle, the median unit price for a three-bedroom apartment in South Yarra is $1,035,000.

Classified as a high-demand market, 59% of South Yarra properties are units, with just 13% being semi-detached dwellings. In terms of resident behaviour, 60% of South Yarra residents rent while just 20% of properties are fully owned, which indicates that there is strong demand for rental properties in the area.

35.3% are classified as independent youth while 22.1% are maturing residents, and in terms of languages spoken 69% of residents speak English and 4% speak Chinese, which provides a demographic snapshot of the market.

The estimated days on the market (DOM) is 156 and the approximate number of sales in the past 3 months in 207 which suggests that there is positive buyer sentiment within South Yarra.

Perks and setbacks of the penthouse

While we know that Dean and Shay are feeling the penthouse pressure, as Shay has gone into perfectionist mode, what implications will this have for them at auction?


  • The prestige of the penthouse and its views may attract a higher number of interested buyers at auction which could mean a higher sales price if the buyers enter a bidding war.
  • Greater security of the penthouse may also add to its desirability from registered buyers.
  • A higher level of privacy and ‘peace and quiet’ (with no noisy neighbours making a racket above), could increase demand for the renovated penthouse come auction day.


  • Panoramic views of Melbourne’s CBD will mean that Dean and Shay have a higher reserve to beat on auction day (pressure's on!).
  • Inaccessibility of the penthouse being situated on the top floor of a multi-storey could be a drawback.
  • While South Yarra is a prestigious area, will there be enough cashed-up buyers to afford this luxurious apartment? Will these potential buyers have the disposable income not only to buy the apartment but also to keep up with high maintenance costs?

Results from previous multi-storey building: Sky High (2013)

ContestantsApartment/ LevelReserveWinningsFinal Result
Alisa and Lysandra1/142 Park Street South Melbourne(Level 1)$1.140m$295,000Winners
Madi and Jarrod401/142 Park Street South Melbourne(Level 4)$1.310m$291,000Third
Matt & Kim201/142 Park Street South Melbourne(Level 2)$1.205m$250,000Fifth
Bec & George301/142 Park Street South Melbourne(Level 3)$1.265m$242,000Fourth
Johnno & Trixie142 Park Street South Melbourne(Level 5 - penthouse)$1.400m$205,000Second

Based on the results from The Block: Sky High (2013), it seems that scoring the penthouse isn’t the be-all and end-all of winning the show.

As you can see, Johnno and Trixie’s penthouse apartment may have contributed to their $205,000 winnings which put them in second position, but it didn’t guarantee them the title of Sky High.

Alisa and Lysandra’s apartment, which was located on the ground floor of the Sky High building provided them with $295,000 in winnings, shortly followed by Madi and Jarrod on level four, with $291,000 above their reserve.

Main ensuite challenge results

ContestantsJudges ScoreFeedback
Shay and DeanDarren: 9.5/10
Shaynna: 9.5/10
Neale: 9.5/10
Final score: 28.5/30 (winners)
Despite spending almost a third of their budget on the main ensuite ($40,000!), Shay and Dean received unanimously positive feedback from the judges.“There’s a level of sophistication here that I haven’t seen in the other bathrooms today ,because this one nudges it to a different level- this feels like the bathroom that belongs in the penthouse”, Neale said.With incredible attention to detail, the judges praised the choice of the black herringbone tiles and the matte black toilet paper which complemented the tap wear.
Kingi and CaroDarren: 9.5/10
Shaynna: 9/10
Neale: 9/10
Final score: 27.5/30 (second place)
Kingi and Caro were rewarded for their bold bath art, which put them in second place for the master ensuite competition.The judges agreed that the vinyl-wrapped and versatile bath piece will make them memorable to future buyers.“Wow, look at that bath. This really excites me, I love that they’re taking a risk this early”, Darren said.In particular, the judges were impressed with the under-floor heating and the rendered walls, but expressed some concern about the choice of blind material.
Whitney and AndrewDarren: 9.5/10
Shaynna: 9/10
Neale: 8.5
Final score: 26.5/30 (third place)
For first-time renovators, Whitney and Andrew, the initial 24-hour challenge was a steep learning curve as the pair produced what was described as “the worst challenge room ever in Block history”.However, the judges were surprised by how far the couple had come, saying that they’d come “from zero to hero in one week”.“They’ve really wow-ed us with the big ticket items”, Neale said.The only feature that the judges criticized was the pendant light which they thought “needed more drama”.
Suzi and VoniDarren:8/10
Shaynna: 8/10
Neale: 8/10
Final score: 24/30 (fourth place)
The feedback from the judges was a little mixed for Susie and Vonnie’s master ensuite.Shaynna loved the feature tile wall saying it was “totally and utterly different, which was incredibly tactile.” However, both Neale and Darren were concerned that it was a bit “night club”-esque.The judges agreed that the single pendant was “too much bling” with unnecessary “glitz and glamour” as Neale said the LED strip “hit me like a barcode”.
Luke and EbonyDarren: 7.5/10
Shaynna: 7.5/10
Neale: 7.5/10
Final score: 22.5/30 (final place)
Upon walking into Luke and Ebony’s main ensuite, the judges admitted to having some “trepidation” following their previous bathroom challenge in Triple Threat, in which the pair lost a spot on the show as they forgot to check their bathroom hardware before the night of reveal.Unfortunately, second-chance siblings, Luke and Ebony, were faced with even more hiccups this time round and it seems that the brother and sister are cursed when it comes to bathrooms.The judges believed that the layout of the room was “fantastic”. However, the pair’s attempt to square-off the odd-shaped room worked to their detriment as Neale said it was “something you’d find in a powder room” as the taps made the space feel smaller.Shaynna said that the elements of the bathroom were inconsistent: “When they come together, they’re cancelling each other out, and they’re doing each other a disservice.”

The next episode of The Block: Blocktagon 2016 airs tonight, Monday September 14, at 7:30pm on Nine.

Image: Channel 9

Belinda Punshon

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

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