They're located in one of Melbourne's most desirable suburbs and have undergone a dazzling renovation no wonder The Block houses are attracting a large number of genuine buyers through their doors at open inspections. The high level of interest in the South Melbourne terraces will no doubt help the teams fetch million-plus prices come auction time.
Further boosting the final price result will be the fact that South Melbourne recorded the highest growth in house prices of all Melbourne suburbs in the six months to March 2012, according to Australian Property Monitors, with the median price rising by 22.5 percent to $1,004,250.
Alex Schiavo, director of Kay & Burton Albert Park, the agent selling the property renovated by Sophie and Dale, says it's hard to compare The Block houses with other properties recently sold in South Melbourne.
"There are no direct comparable sales because a lot of the terraces we've sold haven't had as much money spent on them as the houses on The Block," Schiavo says. "[The Block houses] have had more than the usual refurbishment it's a complete rebuild."
Nevertheless, most recent terrace sales in South Melbourne point to prices above the $1 million mark, in line with the suburb's median price.
A three-bedroom Victorian terrace on 140 square metres at 164 Cecil Street recently sold by Hocking Stuart Albert Park, the agency selling Mike and Andrew's terrace, fetched $1.06 million. Around the corner on Bank Street, a 141-square-metre three-bedroom terrace with two car spaces recently sold for $1.35 million.
"You wouldn't find anything under a million," Schiavo says.
While some people attending the inspections are there just to see the houses from the high-rating TV show up-close, Schiavo says 401 Dorcas Street has been attracting a lot of enquiries from buyers who already live in neighbouring suburbs who are looking to downsize.
"We are getting a lot of enquiries from people living in South Yarra, Toorak and similar areas, who want to downsize to a smaller home but want to stay in the same area," he says. "We've also had interest from young professionals with no kids, professional couples with one child, and we've also had people looking at it as an investment."
Schiavo says one of the biggest selling points of Sophie and Dale's renovated Victorian terrace is that it is free-standing on one side, which coupled with its north-east aspect, allows more light into the home than is usual with a terrace. "Light is one of the most important features when selling a property," he says.
"If you like inner city living, you don't have a lot of choice in the type of home you buy it's either going to be a terrace or a period home, which tend to be dark. People downsizing from a bigger house in particular, want natural light. They are likely to spend more time at home than an executive couple, so light is very important to them."
Karl Gillon, managing director of Buxton Albert Park, who is selling Brand and Lara's terrace at 405 Dorcas Street, says the property's roof deck is likely to be one of its key selling features. "The roof deck has created striking city views, which helps boost the price you get the sense that the city is on your doorstep," Gillon says.
For David Wood, director of Hocking Stuart Albert Park, who is selling Mike and Andrew's terrace, all four homes' location is their biggest selling point. "Proximity to the CBD is a major factor," he says, "as are the facilities in that suburb transport, schools and parks."