Is The Block a good investment?

By Stefanie Garber 11 April 2014 | 1 minute read

AfterThe Block auction left contestants over half a million dollars richer, investors might ask how the luxury apartments stack up as investments.

While the popularity of the show undoubtedly boosts prices, properties featured on The Block tend to keep their value over time, according to RESULTS Mentoring director Tony Lambrianos.

“Based on historic evidence, the re-sellability of something developed by The Block seems to be pretty good,” he said.

“I reckon there is a certain pride in owning a The Block house.”

In Mr Lambrianos' view, the properties are generally more likely to sell than similar products in the same area due to their “status”. However, he warned this cache might wane with time.

“I think it's only as good as how long the show is on air,” he said.

“That said, I think there would still be an advantage down the track to the target market that remembers The Block.”

Mr Lambrianos also warned the pool of buyers may begin to shrink as The Block takes on more ambitious projects.

“It could limit your market,” he said.

“They have really raised the level of quality and showmanship when it comes to The Block, so the target market for those properties is 100 per cent affluent people.”

On the other hand, James Buyers Advocates director Mal James said the top end of the Melbourne market was going “gangbusters”.

As a buyer’s agent specialising in properties costing over $1 million, he has seen strong movement in the luxury segment since October 2012.

“The market is absolutely booming but it has been for well over a year, especially in that $2 million market segment,” he said.

“If you're buying land in or around the city in inner Melbourne near infrastructure, there is just no reason to think that is going to go backwards in the long term.”

Buyer’s agent Frank Valentic, who secured The Blocks's winning apartment, had two investor clients interested in the Albert ParkAlbert Park, SA Albert Park, VIC properties.

“Absolutely they would make a good investment because they have all the right fundamentals,” he said.

In his view, a major benefit of the newly-renovated complex is depreciation write-offs.

“The depreciation benefits are very, very solid – around $50,000 a year, so almost a thousand dollars a week,” he said.

 Mr Valentic also calculated that rental returns for the building would be high, with each fully furnished apartment fetching $1,700 to $1,900 a week.

Despite concerns that TV hype could artificially inflate values, the auctioneer of the winning property, David Wood, said realistic prices were paid.

Based on his experience as a selling agent with hockingstuart, Mr Wood believes the properties would have achieved the same sales price even without the media attention.

“If you asked me to sell this property as a normal home – without the TV cameras and media hype – I’m still comfortable we would achieve the same result because they are so unique,” he said.

“For the location, which is as good as it gets, you don’t get properties like this.”

He said other luxury apartments in Albert Park had recently sold for $2.6 million and $3.5 million, putting the value for The Block properties well within the expected range.

Several of the bidders on the night were investors from China, according to Mr Wood.

Overall, while the circumstances of The Block are unique, the properties seem to offer strong potential for investors with plenty of cash to spare.

Would you consider investing in the block? Let us know in the comments.

Is The Block a good investment?
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