Shock Block twist no one saw coming

 

IT WOULDN'T BE a finale without drama - and this year's Block auction provided all that and more when the Gatwick Hotel went under the hammer.

In an unbelievable night of auctions, the series' most controversial couple, Hayden Vale and Sara Tumino, took out the top prize when their apartment sold well above their reserve of $2.5 million - making them The Block 2018 winners.

Better known as the "underdogs", the Sydney couple even managed to have their apartment sell for more than the two penthouses - which to everyone's amazement, fell short of the $3 million mark.

Despite Melbourne's clearance rate hitting a six-year low last weekend - with plenty of warning signs not to sell five apartments in one day - all teams still managed to profit well above their reserve, pocketing enough to set themselves up financially.

Project manager Hayden and flight attendant Sara, who came last in three consecutive weeks and copped plenty of criticism from the judges, had their apartment sell for $3,020,000, a whopping $545,000 over their reserve, which earned them an additional $100,000.

They fell $2,000 short of beating last year's winner's Josh Barker and Elyse Knowles, who profited $547,000 for their Block renovation.

"After what had happened to us throughout the entire series, no one had any faith in us, we were the underdogs and outcasts throughout the entire series," Sara told news.com.au after the auction.

"It was very hands on for Hayden as he is a builder and also a project manager, he was helping out but he also had a team behind him and we wouldn't have been able to do it without them."

The Block 2018 winners Hayden Vale and Sara Tumino. Their apartment sold for $3.02 million, profiting $545,000. Source: The Block
The Block 2018 winners Hayden Vale and Sara Tumino. Their apartment sold for $3.02 million, profiting $545,000. Source: The Block

 

Sara and Hayden with their daughter Harlow and buyers advocate Nicole Jacobs who bid on behalf of her (anonymous) client. Source: The Block
Sara and Hayden with their daughter Harlow and buyers advocate Nicole Jacobs who bid on behalf of her (anonymous) client. Source: The Block

The pair, who also revealed they are expecting a baby boy in April next year, had the choice of the two penthouses after winning the first challenge of the series, but opted to renovate Apartment 3 in the old Gatwick. Their decision paid off, with the three couples who renovated the old Gatwick apartments coming out on top of the penthouse teams.

They plan to put the money towards the family home they are currently building in Sydney.

In second place - and first to go under the hammer - was South Australian couple Kerrie and Spence. Their reserve was $2.45 million, and they managed to profit $415,000 after their apartment sold for $2,850,000.

"We just didn't know what to expect," Kerrie said. "We felt a certain type of pressure being first, and we thought we needed to do well to set a benchmark for the others."

The duo said they will use part of their win to go on a river cruise in France to celebrate Kerrie's 50th birthday next March.

 

Spence Thomson and Kerrie Charter came in second, selling their apartment for $2.850 million, profiting $415,000. Source: The Block
Spence Thomson and Kerrie Charter came in second, selling their apartment for $2.850 million, profiting $415,000. Source: The Block

Courtney and Hans, a high-flying engaged couple from Perth, claimed a close third place when their apartment - the biggest in the Gatwick - went under the hammer for $2,770,000. They walked away with a profit of $410,000, after being given a reserve of $2.4 million.

Despite their fears that the current real estate climate in Melbourne would lose them money at auction, they too managed to beat their reserve.

In a shocking twist, their apartment sold to two sisters who had previously owned the entire building.

Yvette Kelly and Rose Banks now own a smaller slice of the place they've called home for nearly 50 years.

"Once I saw the apartment completed I was like 'it's a beautiful apartment, it's beautifully styled' and I was worried it was too feminine' but knowing Yvette and Rose bought it was so good, it was like I designed it for them," a very excited Courtney told news.com.au during celebrations.

 

Hans Baumgartner and Courtney Brown happy with their profit of $410,000 after their apartment sold for $2.770 million. Source: The Block
Hans Baumgartner and Courtney Brown happy with their profit of $410,000 after their apartment sold for $2.770 million. Source: The Block

The sisters sold the entire Gatwick to Channel 9 last year for $10 million, saying they particularly loved Courtney and Hans' apartment because it overlooked Fitzroy Street.

"I love the building. I know everyone was saying how horrible it was but I honestly wish I had enough money to buy the whole apartment block," Ms Kelly said. "For us it has great sentimental value. All our kids were brought up here and now our grandkids can experience it."

 

Former Gatwick Hotel owners and twin sisters Yvette Kelly and Rose Banks bought back into the property with Courtney and Hans’ apartment for $2.770 million. Source: The Block
Former Gatwick Hotel owners and twin sisters Yvette Kelly and Rose Banks bought back into the property with Courtney and Hans’ apartment for $2.770 million. Source: The Block

Best friends from Melbourne, Bianca and Carla came in fourth position, walking away with $301,000 ($150,500 each) when their penthouse sold for $2,991,000 (reserve, $2.70 million), while fan favourites Norm and Jess from Queensland earned themselves $209,000 over their reserve of $2.65 million) when their penthouse sold for $2,859,000 in the nailbiting auction.

"I probably thought the penthouse would go higher than the old Gatwick but you have look at the square metre and the fact we are smaller than the old Gatwick, but it did surprise me it went for less than the others," Carla said.

Bianca added that it was a sign about the market: "It's not favourable for properties like this at the moment."

Carla Dziwoki and Bianca Chatfield pocketed $150,500 each after their penthouse sold for $2.991 million. Source: The Block
Carla Dziwoki and Bianca Chatfield pocketed $150,500 each after their penthouse sold for $2.991 million. Source: The Block

"But you know what, we sold it and the clearance rates tell you, you shouldn't sell five apartments in one day so I am just so glad it all came through," Bianca said.

In true Norm and Jess style, the couple were overly satisfied in "whatever we were going to get".

"Look it's above and beyond what we expected, we knew the market was down in Melbourne and our real estate agent prepared us for it but to come out with $209,000 is just unbelievable," Norm said, with Jess adding: "And it's tax free, how good is that?"

The couple plan to pay off their debts with the money and spend more time with their kids.

Tonight's results has taken the total prizemoney across The Block's 14 seasons to a whopping $20,775,501.

 

Jess Eva and Norm Hogan beyond stoked with their $209,000 profit. Their penthouse sold for $2.859 million. Source: The Block
Jess Eva and Norm Hogan beyond stoked with their $209,000 profit. Their penthouse sold for $2.859 million. Source: The Block

INSIDE HAYDEN AND SARA'S WINNING APARTMENT

 

 

Sara and Hayden’s living and dining room. Source: The Block
Sara and Hayden’s living and dining room. Source: The Block

 

 

The living and dining room. Source: The Block
The living and dining room. Source: The Block

 

The master bedroom. Source: The Block
The master bedroom. Source: The Block

 

The guest room. Source: The Block
The guest room. Source: The Block

 

Master ensuite. Source: The Block
Master ensuite. Source: The Block

 

 

The bathroom. Source: The Block
The bathroom. Source: The Block

 

PREVIOUS BLOCK WINNERS

2003 - BONDI - Adam & Fiona, $256,000

2004 - MANLY - Jamie & Andrew, $178,000

2010 - VAUCLUSE - John & Neisha, $305,000

2011 - RICHMOND - Polly & Waz, $115,000

2012 - SOUTH MELBOURNE - Brad & Lara, $606,000

2013 - ALL STARS (BONDI) - Phil & Amity, $395,000

2013 - SKY HIGH (SOUTH MELBOURNE) - Alisa & Lysandra, $395,000

2014 - FANS v FAVES (ALBERT PARK) - Steve & Chantelle, $736,000

2014 - GLASSHOUSE (PRAHRAN) - Shannon & Simon, $435,000

2015 - TRIPLE THREAT (SOUTH YARRA) - Darren & Deanne, $935,000

2015 - THE BLOCKTAGON (SOUTH YARRA) - Dean & Shay, $755,000

2016 - THE BLOCK 2016 (PORT MELBOURNE) - Will & Karlie, $815,000

2017 - THE BLOCK 2017 (ELSTERNWICK) - Josh & Elyse, $547,000


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