The harsh reality of Auckland's housing market slowdown played out on The Block NZ on Sunday night as all of the houses struggled to meet their reserves at auction.

For the first time in The Block NZ history, one of the houses was passed in, before a surprise twist saw it put back up for sale at the end of the night.

After initially failing to meet the reserve, house two eventually sold for $1,250,000, netting Hamilton dads Andy Murdie and Nate Ross $30,000 profit and making them the overall winners of season six.

Winning figures from the past five seasons of The Block.
Winning figures from the past five seasons of The Block.

The pair described the win as "bittersweet" and said they were "devastated for all the teams", as the houses sold below expectations.

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The surprise repeat auction came as a huge blow to Palmerston North friends Stacey Cottrill and Yanita McLea, who thought they had won The Block when their house sold for $1,271,000, netting them $20,000 profit.

Stace and Yanita thought they had won it when their house made $20,000 profit late in the evening. Photo / Three
Stace and Yanita thought they had won it when their house made $20,000 profit late in the evening. Photo / Three
But a shock late sale for Andy and Nate meant the pair missed out on the grand prize. Photo / Three
But a shock late sale for Andy and Nate meant the pair missed out on the grand prize. Photo / Three

Twins Ali and Julia Heaney finished in third place when their house sold for $1,242,000, earning them $13,000 profit, while Christchurch brothers Ling and Zing - real names Levi and Zach Inglis - made just $1000, when their house sold for $1.3 million.

Speaking after the final auction, Ross said the pair had resigned themselves to the fact they had lost, when they discovered their house was being put back up for auction.

When asked if they would consider splitting their winnings with the other teams, the brothers-in-law said it wasn't their decision.

"We have wives and kids to consider as well. We have credit cards to pay off and a huge amount of debt. We've just spent three months not working."

Three defended the decision for a second auction on Facebook, saying: "This is a reality of auctions and keeps the bidding transparent."

What a rollercoaster! Like all of New Zealand watching we were surprised by how tonight went. Lots of you are asking how...

Posted by Three on Sunday, 17 September 2017

Prior to the auction, the houses had been tipped to sell for more than $1.3 million, however, buyers appeared cautious on the night with bidding seemingly slow and reluctant.

The Block NZ 2017 winners Andy and Nate weren't smiling earlier in the night when their house didn't meet reserve. Photo / Three
The Block NZ 2017 winners Andy and Nate weren't smiling earlier in the night when their house didn't meet reserve. Photo / Three

It made for awkward viewing with fans taking to social media to express their surprise and disappointment with the results.

Many questioned whether the lacklustre profits spelt the end for the reality competition, however, host Mark Richardson confirmed the series will be back next year for a seventh season.

The surprise finish to The Block NZ appeared to shock even the host, Mark Richardson. Photo / Three
The surprise finish to The Block NZ appeared to shock even the host, Mark Richardson. Photo / Three

It was a far cry from previous seasons of The Block, which last year saw the winning house sell for $1,610,000, netting Sam and Emmett $380,000 profit and the $100,000 prize money.

The first season of The Block NZ in 2012 saw contestants Rachel and Tyson walk away empty-handed when their property sold for its exact reserve.

The four town houses, located on Northcote's Potter Ave, were expected to sell for upwards of $1.3 million.

Earlier, the Herald on Sunday revealed the houses would be sold without Code Compliance Certificates as building work on the houses was not complete.

The site was purchased by Eyeworks New Zealand Limited, the production company also known as Warner Brothers NZ, for $1.9 million in July 2016.

The original two storey weatherboard house on the 926 sqm site was bowled and four identical units were built in April this year.

The Northcote houses are the biggest Block houses yet, have roof-top gardens and boast views over the harbour and Rangitoto.

Read more:
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