"'Location, location,' they always say that in real estate, and it's especially true here," Father Bob told us earlier in the year when speaking about the Block houses. "Historically, it's rich, and the new owners will contribute to that history too."
It'll be a big draw card that attracts buyers come Block auction day. It's said to be the most important in influencing a home's price. Properties in inner-city areas where jobs, amenities and cultural venues are concentrated will always command higher prices that similarly sized homes in the outer suburbs or regional areas. Throw in a view and the price climbs even higher.
In his book, The Ultimate Guide to Real Estate, John McGrath describes the ideal location as "a combination of the physical location of the property, the character of the suburb and the proximity to desirable amenities".
At just 2km from the Melbourne CBD, within walking distance to the beach and falling in desirable school zones, South Melbourne ticks a lot of boxes for a lot of people and commands high property prices as a result.
David Wood, director of Hocking Stuart Albert Park, the agency selling Mike and Andrew's renovated terrace on The Block, says homes that fall within a 5km radius of the Melbourne CBD can command prices 25 percent higher than those outside the magic 5km mark. "Outside the 5km, prices drop by 25 percent to 30 percent," he says.
Being within walking distance to desirable amenities is an influential factor on pricing, according to Karl Gillon, managing director of Buxton Albert Park who are representing Brad and Lara's house. So is proximity to prestigious properties especially an entire street of them.
Dorcas Street, where the four adjacent multi-storey The Block townhouses are located, is close to St Vincent Place, a heritage precinct in Albert Park described by Gillon as "one of Australia's premier addresses". "If you're surrounded by prestigious properties, your property is going to be equally valuable," he says.
South Melbourne's appeal is reflected in its growing property prices the suburb recorded the highest growth in house prices in Melbourne over the six months to March 2012, with the median house price rising by 22.5 percent to $1,004,250, according to Australian Property Monitors.
Mont Albert came in second with a 22.4 percent rise in its median house price to $1,175,000, while Fitzroy was third with a 22 percent increase to $955,000. Elwood at $1,076,502 (up 13.9 percent) and Box Hill at $750,000 (up 13.6 percent) were the fourth and fifth Melbourne suburbs recording the highest median price growth.
The Block houses have another thing going for them likely to boost their sale price, according to the agents tasked with selling them impressive views. "The roof decks have created striking city views, which helps boost the price you get the sense that the city is on your doorstep," Gillon says. "There are two main views people pay money for in Melbourne bay views and city views."