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22 Nov

The Block NZ: A snapshot of the housing market


Conducting a live auction during primetime on national TV. What could possibly go wrong?

The Block NZ: A snapshot of the housing market

Well, it's taken me a while to get over the experience of running the opening auction on the final of The Block NZ 2017, but here I am. And thankfully nothing did go wrong - well, too wrong anyway.

I tried to keep telling myself it was just a standard day at the office. Heck, I run auctions nearly every week and have been doing so since 2009.

And aside from the fact there were about 500 people in the room, 35 production staff scurrying around, bright lights shining down on me, microphones and cameras right up in my face, and instructions coming at me from all directions — it was like a regular auction.

Yes, a lot of auctions these days are just like those on The Block NZ — slow, hard going, and stressful — a bit like pulling teeth. You see, things have cooled down markedly this year and The Block NZ results reflect that cooling off.

But, in saying that, the auction results did seem to take a lot of fans (and the production staff) by surprise.

If you caught the show you'll know the auctions didn't go gangbusters like they have done in the previous series'. In 2016 the winners made a record $380k profit on their sale, and in 2015 the winners pocketed $190k profit. However, this year's winners Andy and Nate made a profit of just $31k — measly by comparison.

So what's changed?

The housing market has cooled and it's back to operating 'as normal', that's what.

Here in Tauranga sales volumes are back to pre-2015 levels. Auction clearance rates are below 50%. It's not unusual to have only one bidder at auctions. That's the everyday reality. And The Block NZ simply highlighted that.

Are auctions still the way to go?

The great thing about auctions is they expose your property to many buyers and they open up the opportunity for competitive bidding. So they're a good option for many vendors even when the market's not going crazy. But as always, it's a case by case decision.

Will you see me on The Block NZ again?

Who knows? You'll have to watch next year's series to find out.

Boy, it was a hard day at the office though, that's for sure!


Rodney Fong is a Licensed Salesperson and Auctioneer working with clients throughout Tauranga, Mt Maunganui and Papamoa.

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