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Only sport and royalty beat love of real estate

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					Only sport and royalty beat love of real estate
Author: David Dale and Jonathan Chancellor
Date: 19/08/2003
Source: SMH
Publication: Sydney Morning Herald
Section: News And Features

Sunday night's conclusion to The Block was Australia's most watched TV show since
the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Only the funeral of Princess Diana drew a bigger audience
for a non-sport related program.
The final episode of The Block averaged 3.08 million viewers in the mainland capitals
over its 90 minutes, with a peak audience of 3.37 million.

Strangely, its best performance was in Melbourne, where it peaked at 1.15 million,
while its Sydney peak was 934,000 a strong result, but not up there with classic State
of Origin matches.

Yes, they do envy our beachy lifestyle down there, or they are even more obsessed
with house prices than we are.

The Block easily beat anything Big Brother could throw up. But it came nowhere near
the Olympic opening and closing ceremonies or individual performances by Cathy
Freeman and Ian Thorpe. Or, for that matter, the 1996 AFL grand final, when the
Swans pulled Sydney into an obsession normally confined to southern and western
capitals.

The Block also fell way behind the audience for the 1997 funeral of Princess Diana, if
you combine coverage on all stations. A fairer comparison would be with episodes of
continuing series. We must go back to the final episode of the 1998 season of
Friends to find a match for The Block.

It emerged yesterday that the $746,000 underbidder on Paul and Kylie's $747,000
upstairs unit went on to buy the $751,000 unit of Adam and Fiona instead.

Agents suggested the prices paid for the two most expensive units were out of line
with Bondi's established market.

Some predicted it might take several years of rising values for the last two buyers to
improve on their purchase price.

The most recent sale on Roscoe Street worked out at $8400 a square metre, which
matched the $655,000 and $670,000 paid for the units decorated by Phil and Amity,
and Gavin and Warren.
But the increasing prices paid for the four units at the Sunday auctions reflected
``momentum investing", Clime Asset Management financial adviser Roger
Montgomery said.

The mid-$700,000 prices did work out as good rental investments, Mr Montgomery
said.

Raine & Horne agent Barry Goldman said: ``The last one was always in the box seat,
because the buyers would have taken confidence from the benchmark prices set at
the prior auctions."

While the format for The Block was unique, the Packer family has made a similar
foray into the property market via their media outlets once before, albeit with more
altruistic motives.

Crowds rushed Sydney Town Hall in 1942 for the raffle draw of the Red Cross Dream
Home.

The fully furnished Mosman house was raffled to raise money for the Red Cross
prisoners of war fund. Radio personality Jack Davey drew the winning ticket for the
raffle, which was promoted through The Australian Women's Weekly. A million
tickets were sold at one shilling apiece, raising ##50,000.

The Mosman house, built on the Spit Bends close to Dream House Lane, had been
donated by the Packer family's Consolidated Press, which bought the vacant block in
1941 for #875.

Valued at #5000, it was won by a Darlinghurst widow, Maude Bartlett, who sold it
four months later for just #3500.

PICK OF THE BOX
Great moments in viewing history
1. Olympics closing 2000 (7)
     6.6 million*
2. Olympics opening 2000 (7)
     6.5 million
3. Freeman gold 2000 (7)
     6.3 million
4. Diana Spencer's funeral
     1997 (all channels)
     6 million
5. Olympics men's 1500m
     swimming final 1996 (7)
     3.5 million
6. AFL grand final -
     Sydney Swans v North
     Melbourne 1996 (7)

     3.3 million
7.    Friends final 1998 (9)
     3.1 million
8. The Block final 2003 (9)
     3.1 million
9. Wimbledon Final 2001 (9)
     3 million
10. National IQ Test 2002 (9)
     2.8 million
* Estimated mainland capitals audience
SOURCE: ACNIELSEN ; OZTAM

				
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