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The Block 2018: How the Gatwick defied a cooling market

ONE word overused in property but true of the Gatwick apartments drove The Block to a 100 per cent clearance in a Melbourne market where more than half of properties are passing in. 


Buyer’s advocates, show regulars and finale bidders Greville Pabst and Frank Valentic said the five boutique apartments up for grabs in the former rooming house were “unique”.

It was this trait that underpinned their success as the Melbourne clearance rate languished below 50 per cent for the second week in a row, preliminary CoreLogic records show.

Mr Pabst, who won four of the five luxe pads for his clients, including the two penthouses for one single buyer, said the sleek abodes were in a league of their own.

“The Gatwick is a very unique building and I think that’s why his (the penthouse buyer’s) apartments and the whole building sold so well,” he said.

“St Kilda is 6km from the CBD. From the Gatwick, you can walk to the beach, walk to Luna Park, to Acland St, the tram is at the door. It is a very unique building and we’re not going to see another Gatwick (style rooming house nearby).”

Mr Valentic, who bid on all five properties, said “the main thing” in the successful results for all teams was the rare calibre of the package.

“It’s unique to have a property with a lot of bells and whistles that’s of that size and with some land value in a block of only eight apartments,” he said.

“Most developers would have developed for profit and tried to chuck in 30 one- or two-bedders to try to maximise profit, so having only eight in the building gave them a big edge.

“And the location as well. It was the second best location of all The Block properties in the last 10 series, after Dux House in O’Grady St, Albert Park.”

McGrath St Kilda auctioneer Scott Kennedy-Green sold Hayden and Sara’s winning apartment and said the result was “testament that well-presented properties will always have the edge”.

Mr Pabst and Mr Valentic said the depreciation of the fully furnished apartments was another massive drawcard for wealthy investors, at about $125,000-$145,000 per annum.

Another perk was they were also expected to attract between $2200-$2500 a week.Touted as a turning point for St Kilda, the Gatwick transformation is set to be followed by rich-list developer Tim Gurner’s transformation of the Novotel Hotel into luxury apartments, and The Block’s next takeover of a seedy old backpackers’ around the corner in Gray St, among other nearby development.

“In 10 years’ time real estate like this in St Kilda is going to become very valuable,” Mr Pabst said of the Gatwick.

Source: realestate.com.au

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