The Block final auction: Auckland friends Tim Cotton and Arthur (Arty) Gillies walk away with $760,000 after huge auction

Auckland friends Tim Cotton and Arthur (Arty) Gillies have been crowned The Block champions, pocketing a record $760,000 – and the other three teams are also walking away with impressive profits in the red-hot Auckland property market.

The pair have pocketed a $660,000 profit plus $100,000 in prize money, making them $760,000 richer after their house was sold at auction for $2,825,000.

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The auction – which screened on Sunday night on TV3 – came after a long five months in the real estate industry, and after the show was disrupted by the Covid outbreak. When the first episode of this year’s The Block NZ aired back on June 14, the housing market was still absorbing the reintroduction of the loan to value ratio rules and the Government’s tax hit on property investors.

Sales activity had dipped and house price growth had slowed, falling from 3.1 per cent in April to 1.8 per cent in June.

However, all four of the Pt Chevalier houses smashed the previous Block NZ records at auction – each home selling for more than $2 million.

Overall the teams in this year’s season will take home $2.25m in profits including the prize money.

Friends Connie King and Rachel Martin’s house sold for $2,692,000 – earning the pair a profit of $422,000. “I just went from poor to rich in a matter of seconds,” said Connie.

Couple Meg and Dan Leen walked away with a profit of $478,000 with their house selling for $2,700,000.

Dylan and Keegan Crawford’s house sold for $2,745,000 – allowing the brothers to pocket $590,000.

“This is turning out pretty cool, isn’t it!” Block host Mark Richardson said during the show, describing the profits as life changing for many of the contestants.

The Block NZ contestants Sam and Emmett held the previous record profit in the show’s history – in 2016 they walked away with $480,000 in profit plus prize money.

Tim and Arthur were first to face the auction in Sunday night’s televised final and were in disbelief once they realised they had won.

“Had you said at the start of 2020 that we’d be crowned Block NZ champions in November 2021 we’d have been pretty discombobulated,” the pair said.

“We can’t quite believe what we’ve achieved at the auction and we’re overjoyed we get to share the success with the other teams.”

The reality show had already suffered a huge setback – the Covid outbreak in March 2020 put filming on hold for a year and saw one team member exit the show.

In the meantime, New Zealand house prices had gone through the roof, with the country’s average property value rising 25 per cent to $972,072 in the 12 months to June 2021. A slump could hit just as the properties went to auction.

Dylan and Keegan won the People’s Choice Award with Dylan accepting a brand new yellow Suzuki Jimny on behalf of the brothers.

This season of The Block has smashed not just one but two show records: highest sale price and biggest profit, last set in 2016 when Auckland’s housing market was at its peak.

Tim and Arthur’s $2.825m auction result is 75 per cent ($1.2m) above the $1.61m that season five champions Sam and Emmett scored in 2016, while their $760,000 winnings is 73 per cent above what Sam and Emmett walked away with.

Pre-production for the 10th season of The Block NZ is already under way, The
Block NZ: Redemption, where four previous Block teams will return for a second chance to take out the win.

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