As we near the auction and season finale of - The Block this Sunday, real-estate-agent-turned-TV-personality Marty Fox has an inkling as to who might take home the title and most cash in 2023.
"Based on land size, northern orientation and the results of winning rooms, the two clear frontrunners would be Houses 4 [Steph and Gian] and 5 [Eliza and Liberty]," Marty tells TV WEEK.
He assures viewers this season's auction will be "intense" and advises interested parties to "bid strongly".
"I believe any of the homes this season could smash the suburb record in Hampton East [15km from the CBD in Melbourne's east], which is in the early $3 million range," Marty says.
With his judging criteria frequently angering contestants, Marty wasn't the most popular judge on The Block. He's not bothered by that at all.
"I stand by all my comments," he declares. "Especially after seeing three out of the five teams make improvements to their homes during 'Redo Week' based on advice I'd given them in prior judging weeks."
What might hinder the homes' success at auction differs from house to house.
"Negatives [for House 1, Kyle and Leslie's] would be the smaller living space," Marty explains. "And for House 2 [Leah and Ash], it would be the very polarising design decisions they made throughout the show – they'll either pay off or flop totally."
Marty says House 3's (Kristy and Brett) floor plan might work well for those with older children, but it's a unique home that requires a certain type of buyer.
Steph and Gian won the most money during the 2023 season, accumulating $163,000 more than their original budget. This, along with the couple's impeccable taste, will make them "hard to beat", Marty says.
"They say kitchens and master suites sell houses. If that's correct, it would suggest this year's auctions are set to be a battle between Steph and Gian's master bedroom and Eliza and Liberty's kitchen," he says. "Or is there a dark horse that will see House 1, 2, or 3 turn that theory on its head?"