Natalie Akoorie

Natalie Akoorie is a reporter at the NZ Herald based in Hamilton.

The Block homes ready for inspection

The Block home renovated by Ben and Libby. Photo / Supplied by Bayleys
The Block home renovated by Ben and Libby. Photo / Supplied by Bayleys

Real estate agents will today open the doors of four renovated houses made famous during the filming of reality TV show The Block.

The neighbouring North Shore homes - each completed by a different couple over 10 weeks - will be open between 10am and 2pm for the first of two public viewings before they go under the hammer next month.

Realestate.co.nz page views for the Takapuna properties, all with a council valuation of $750,000, are edging toward 50,000.

The once dilapidated Anzac Ave properties have been transformed week by week as part of the competition.

The reality series pits four couples - Rachel and Tyson from Wellington, Sarah and Richard from Hamilton, Libby and Ben from Christchurch and Ginny and Rhys from Taranaki - against each other in a competition to renovate the houses one room at a time.

Site foreman Peter Wolfkamp told the Weekend Herald working on the show was "tremendously exciting".

He picked Ben and Libby's feature wall and Richard's unusual bookcases as innovative ideas and said all the teams had come a long way with their DIY skills.

Modelled on the same format as The Block in Australia, the programme is as much about drama as it is DIY and viewers have been tuning in.

"Ratings for The Block NZ have exceeded all MediaWorks' expectations," TV3 spokeswoman Rachel Lorimer said.

The show debuted as TV3's biggest of the year, reaching more than a million viewers in its first week.

The website's chief executive, Alistair Helm, said the house renovated by brother and sister Ben and Libby Crawford had attracted the most online views and an online poll asking which couple would win yesterday had them surging ahead of the other contestants with 447 votes.

Bayleys Real Estate North Shore residential general manager Hayden Stanaway said 40 groups had already inspected the homes privately, which matched other house sales in the area.

The houses will be auctioned live on TV on September 6, with the winners determined by the property which fetches the highest price.

The winners take away the profit above valuation and an $80,000 cash prize.

The Block
* 4 houses, 4 couples
* 50,000 online views
* 2.5 million watched show
* 60 builders and TV crew onsite every day
* $750,000 council valuation on each house

- NZ Herald

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