The Block

The worrying list of problems making this season of The Block the most unsellable season to date

A pandemic, privacy problems and pollen – is this the show’s most unsellable season?

By Woman's Day team
Touted as The Block's most ambitious season yet, this year's contestants, who are all restoring rundown period homes, really have their work cut out for them.
And while the scope of this season's theme – renovating houses from the 1910s, '20s, '30s, '40s and '50s, which have been transported to Melbourne's Brighton Beach – is entertaining to watch on screen, a worrying list of problems could mean that this year's properties may be the most unsellable yet.
Long-time Block fans are questioning the decision to cram five homes onto one block of land, calling out the lack of privacy as the main reason the properties may struggle to sell.
"The homes are so squished together, there's no privacy!" one fan wrote on social media. "You'd better hope you like your neighbours. No way I'd live there."
Another quipped, "You could literally reach into your neighbour's home to turn their music down at least."
While many pointed out how crammed the block is, a local resident also raised the issue of the homes' location on one of the busiest streets in Melbourne.
"They're on a very busy main road, and I have to admit that they look completely out of place in that location," the resident explains.
"The street is bananas during peak time so... good luck with that!"
While the Blockheads were eventually allowed back on site to finish their builds during the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic 
and financial impact the disease has had on Australia, and in particular Melbourne, will make this year's auction one of the toughest.
Since the show wrapped, the Victorian capital has plunged back into stage four lockdowns, and the nation has descended into its first recession since the 1990s.
Block fans and experts alike fear a quiet auction day, unlike previous years. (Channel Nine)
Combined with high unemployment and property values dropping a staggering 20 per cent, The Block stars may just see their lowest profits yet – if they manage to sell their homes at all.
"The real estate market will take a hit," says property investment and wealth strategist Michael Yardney.
"Property transaction numbers will decrease – there will be fewer buyers in the market. Even people with money will be holding tight onto their finances."
The contestants will be crossing their fingers that someone like Dave "Hughesy" Hughes will put up his hand and snap up their multimillion-dollar homes this year.
In 2018, the comedian bought a five-bedroom home in Melbourne's Elsternwick for $3.067 million from contestants Elyse Knowles and Josh Barker.
However, he admits he'd massively overpaid, after the bank valued it as "much less" than what he forked out for it.
Fans have pointed out the houses are in very close quarters! (Channel Nine)
No doubt producers are hoping there won't be a repeat of the 2011 season where only one home sold on auction day.
After COVID-19 forced the Block heads to stop working on their builds for six weeks, it was their lack of reno work that had fans questioning whether they will even finish in time for auction.
"Can any of them actually build?!" one fan wrote online.
"All they do is talk. There's very little building going on. No one is going to finish, surely."
If zero privacy and COVID-19 weren't enough to steer people away, then a garden full of allergy-inducing plants may do the trick, particularly for
those potential buyers with hay fever!
An eagle-eyed fan was outraged after watching foreman Keith Schleiger sprinkle pampas grass seeds everywhere on site, which to people who suffer from seasonal allergies, can be problematic due to it producing a heavy dose of pollen, particularly in the warmer months.
"Can't believe he just spread the seeds! So dumb and childish," the fan wrote.
"All of that fluffy stuff causes severe allergies in many people, including me, so guess I won't be buying!"

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