Brad Cranfield and Lara Welham, winners of The Block.THE hammer was dropped on another series of The Block tonight as all four teams celebrated results that bucked Melbourne’s declining property market.
Winning couple Brad Cranfield and Lara Welham, of Newcastle, sold their terrace for $1.62 million, blitzing the $1.11 million reserve. The pair pocketed a record $506,000 plus a $100,000 bonus as all four South Melbourne terraces sold for well above their reserves.
Physical education teacher Welham admitted to being so nervous she threw up after the auction.
Miner Cranfield said real estate was too tough to dare hoping for such a result.
“Naturally, we wanted the house to sell for a good price, but we wouldn’t let ourselves get carried away dreaming about this kind of profit.”
Melbourne couple Dani Wales and Dan Reilly finished runners-up, taking home $448,000 after their house — purchased by a neighbour — sold for $1.44 million.
The four strong sales resulted in a record prizemoney payout to the four teams of $1.84 million. This was in contrast to the 2011 Richmond auctions, when three of the four properties failed to sell under the hammer.
Believing the circus surrounding the 2011 auctions at Fitzroy Town Hall contributed to the poor result, the program’s producers opted to hold Saturday’s auction in private.
Up to 30 registered bidders competed for each property, with the promise of a more “intimate” experience.
The open houses were anything but intimate, with an estimated 45,000 Blockaholics queueing for a peek inside but most turned away disappointed.
Word leaked out before last night’s Channel Nine screening that all four properties had sold, but the prices and winners remained a secret.
Host Scott Cam confirmed the show would return next year in an “All Stars” format featuring former contestants.
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