The future isn’t looking good for renovation reality show The Block Australia, after its New Zealand counterpart pulled the plug on their 11th season. The announcement sparked debate amongst Kiwi fans, with many happy to farewell the show.
This year, the winners of The Block NZ made a scarce profit of $4k, the next couple making a measly $100 and the remaining teams walked away empty-handed. While The Block Australia saw Omar and Oz’s house sell for a record-breaking 1.586 million dollar profit, Tom and Sarah-Jane only won 20k.
There were a handful of Kiwi fans who were disappointed by the announcement, but the majority welcomed the news, labelling the 2022 season as a ‘disaster’ and ‘awful’ to watch.
“I’m glad for the sake of the contestants after how heartbreaking this year was to watch,” one person commented.
“The Block has maybe had its day…the Aussie season was a disaster too,” another pointed out.
“Hope you change the format of The Block in 2024. With such a lack of affordable accessible housing across New Zealand it would be great if someone would help steer the building industry in the direction of building futures, not barriers,” a third wrote.
Australia and New Zealand’s property markets can often mimic each other, and a research paper by Goldman Sachs predicts an even bigger housing crash to come for the neighbouring countries. By the time December 2023 rolls around, the global investment banking firm predicts house prices in Australia will drop by 18% and 21% in New Zealand. This could prove to be a huge roadblock for the Aussie renovation show.
The Block Australia may be ‘the worst series ever’
There have already been rumours flying around that the much-loved Aussie show could be headed for ‘disaster’, with a property expert saying ‘it could be the worst series yet’.
Channel Nine has reportedly overspent on the five properties set for renovation next year. The properties located in Melbourne's Bayside were purchased by a company owned by Nine for $14.3 million, equating to roughly $2.86 million per property – almost double the $1.55 million median price of the area.
Buyer's advocate Frank Valentic spoke with Daily Mail, saying these figures put the producers and teams "$7 million behind the eight-ball from day dot", adding, "The Block has paid a premium there, double what we would expect the properties to be worth. It could be financially the worst series yet.”
Frank went on to say that the current real estate market downturn favours buyers and believes The Block producers will need to recoup their costs through advertising.
The publication adds that for the show to make a profit, they would need to sell the properties for at least $4 million each. However, the neighbourhood record is $3.1 million, which was set in May 2021.
When approached for comment about the future of the show, a Channel Nine spokesperson said: "The Block was the second most-watched reality series of 2022, and more than 2.6 million Aussies tuned in to see our Block winners crowned — the highest non-sports program of the year."
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