This week, the news that iconic Australian TV soap Neighbours may be ending had a big impact on the public mind.
While it’s been difficult for fans and, of course, the cast and crew who may lose their jobs, keep in mind the residents of Pin Oak Court in Vermont South, commonly known as Erinsborough’s famed Ramsay Street, where the soap is filmed.
Residents have been receiving a recurring payment for enabling filming, which ranges from $33,000 to $50,000 per year, depending on how much of the residence is shot, according to The Herald and The Age.
“Ramsay Street” homeowners have also benefited from a boost to prices, by as much as an extra 10 percent compared to the rest of Vermont South, agents estimate.
On Pin Oak Court, there have been some good sales in recent years, with one home selling for a street record last year.
1 Pin Oak Court, widely known as Toadie (Toadfish) Rebecchi’s property, sold for $1.6 million in May, in the midst of Melbourne’s several COVID-related lockdowns.
The three-bedroom home was auctioned by Barry Plant of real estate firm Barry Plant, and the bidders, a Chinese couple, had no awareness about the street’s legendary past, according to Plant.
“The buyers hadn’t been through the house until auction day,” Mr Plant said.
The pair had fallen in love with the kitchen and decided to make the winning bid, according to Barry Plant Glen Waverley sales manager Carolyn Barton.
While the couple had no prior knowledge of Neighbours, they were also unaware that the exterior of their home would be recorded for the television show.
They were relieved to learn that no filming will take place inside, as Neighbours interior shots are done on location in Nunawading.
Ms Barton would not reveal how much residents were paid for enabling filming due to privacy concerns, but she did state that the production company paid varied sums to individuals on the street depending on where they recorded.
“It varies from house to house,” Ms Barton said. “Those that have filming of the front facade and the backyard get a higher return than those that just film the facade.”
Pin Oak Court properties sold for at least 10% more than homes in other portions of Vermont South, according to Ms Barton. According to Domain data, the median house price in the suburb is $1.405 million.
In fact, 5 Pin Oak Court, popularly known as Karl and Susan Kennedy’s home, sold for that exact price in 2019.
The house was valued $1.2 million, according to Dexter Prack, head auctioneer and CEO of Harcourts Judd White, but it made $205,000 more due to competition on the day.
Mr Prack described the buyers as “a couple of huge Neighbours fans who just happened to be from the UK” who “realized their long-held ambition of living on Ramsey Street.”
At the time, there were seven bidders, two of whom were big fans of the show.
Over 180 inspections were held over the four-week sales campaign, indicating that far more fans were interested in just looking around the house.
“At the time, we weren’t sure whether they were serious buyers or just fans wanting to look around the house,” Mr Prack joked.
Fans aren’t the only ones who have purchased homes on Pin Oak Court. In 2013, a UK-based Neighbours fan purchased his second home on the street as an investment.
At the time, Andrew Whitney was listed as the buyer, and he paid $867,000 for 3 Pin Oak Court. He also owns 6 Pin Oak Court, which he purchased for $238,000 in 1998, according to public records.
According to Mr Prack, a stipulation in the sales agreement for residences on Pin Oak Court stipulated that owners consent to filming in the street. According to him, a specific clause was introduced to detail how much homeowners would be compensated.
When filming takes place, owners are not allowed to walk out their front door or have a car parked in their driveway. Aside from keeping up with upkeep, they must also keep their gardens nice and not change the facades of their properties.
While some Pin Oak Court residents may be disappointed if Neighbours ceases, Mr Prack believes it will be a welcome return to normalcy for them.
“I don’t believe it will affect house prices all that much. It will have some impact, but not a huge one,” he said.
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