Foxtel’s Selling Houses Australia is set to return for its 15th season, hosted by real estate expert Andrew Winter, interior design expert Wendy Moore, and landscape designer Dennis Scott.
In a housing market that is as unpredictable as it is unique, the Selling Houses team have had their work cut out for them.
Mediaweek spoke to Winter ahead of the season premiere Wednesday, March 22nd at 8.30pm on Foxtel.
With 15 seasons of Selling Houses Australia under their belt, Winter says that he believes it’s the honesty of the show that has kept viewers coming back for all these years.
“The obsession with property helps, but I think the beauty of it is that it’s always really been genuine and reflected what’s going on in the market. It meant that each season is different because we are dealing with different market conditions. People do say to me how sometimes they watch an old episode and it will say that it’s really difficult to sell a four-bedroom freestanding house in Marrickville and get $700,000 – that just puts it in perspective.”
It’s been a pretty volatile time for the housing market lately, and Winter says that this is an aspect that creeps into every part of the Selling Houses production.
“The last season that went to air was filmed during the latter parts of Covid – very, very challenging production schedules, but it was done. Of course, if somebody wanted a million dollars for their home, we’d come in and spruce it up and they get $1.2m within a day. It was phenomenal, absolutely phenomenal, probably the most booming market we’d ever seen in Selling Houses history.”
“Then, of course, we come to this season. Before we even started shooting it I was saying ‘look, the market is very different now’. I call this the season of the challenge because nothing’s normal. The predictable house that you think is an easy sell, is it? The one that you think is going to be really difficult, is it? The price they want seems really realistic and really sensible, but is it? The predictability of the market has gone.”
Looking back at the filming of this season, Winter confesses that he was quite nervous about whether or not the team would struggle to sell some of the places at all.
“We were lucky that it wasn’t all filmed last week and everything had to be sold instantly, because things have taken a lot of time! It’s not all been quick selling, it’s not all been dream prices.
“It’s just all over the place, which I think makes it a particularly interesting season.”
Thinking back to when Winter started on the show compared to now, he says that whilst there have been some changes, they might not be as drastic as you could be led to believe.
“I think the evolution actually really started in the late 90s and the early noughties, so probably when we started making the Australian version. If I look back at when the UK version started – which was 2002 – from then to 2007 there were massive changes. Since then, it’s really only been the market that evolved.
“Home staging has become far more prominent, to the point now where it has to be done a certain way otherwise it doesn’t gain you as much as it used to. As soon as something becomes the norm, it loses its impact. Just staging with some nice furniture when everything else around it is pretty ordinary, people will see through that now.”
When it comes to what viewers can expect from season 15 of Selling Houses Australia, Winter points to the stories beneath the structure of the format.
“We all want the makeover, the before and after, the outside and inside – of course, that’s what we all want to see. But I think it’s also about the story of the homeowners, and this season we’ve got lots of stories going on because things don’t always go to plan. If we think it’s going to go one way but it goes another, then that’s the way the story will be told. No jeopardy needs to be made up here.”
Outside of Selling Houses Australia going to air, there’s no rest for Winter who has been filming another season of the show at the same time as filming another season of Love It Or List It Australia. He has also gone back to his real estate roots and is now working as a buyers’ agent.
“That is quite a time-consuming past time, however, it just runs beautifully with what I do with Foxtel. Like many people, Covid woke me up to things you miss – I was a selling agent for 24 years, and I miss the coalface a little bit. Being a buyer’s agent is particularly something I’ve always thrived at, and the chance to get back into that was really quite exciting.
“I have actually done my first deal! My first client has moved into their house. That’s been really fun. It’s going to be challenging doing those two shows and that, but it’s all in one field.”
Top Image: Andrew Winter