Man-hug. There's a tradie comfortable with his sexuality.

The race has been won, and Michael Lynch has been crowned Australia’s Best Renovator in the auction finale of Channel 10’s The Renovators. Michael takes home $100,000 in prize money for selling the fibro cottage in Blacktown for $440,000 (giving him an unbeatable 18.28% profit margin). As the keyholder with the highest profit margin percentage, Michael won the profit from all six houses sold, though only 3 including his made a profit.

It was a tough night for the final 6 keyholders, with only 3 houses selling for a profit. All houses were for sale with no reserve, meaning whatever the Century 21 Real Estate team could draw from the crowd would be the price the property sold for, independent of what the production company Shine Australia paid for it.

Disappointment for August (Marrickville shop), Peter (St Peters half-done house) & Natalia (Castle Hill sixties suburban) with their properties selling below their respective break even prices meaning they had no chance at winning the title and prize, though they could take some comfort knowing that even though Melissa and Luke sold their houses for profit they too would take home nothing by way of prize money. The figures from all the auctions tell the story:

Melissa’s Weatherboard house in Parramatta (Green)
Bought for $478,213; Budget of $95,642; Break even at $573,855
Sold – $575,000 (Profit $1,145; 0.2%)

August’s Shop in Marrickville (Grey)
Bought for $594,730; Budget of $118,946; Break even at $715,171
Sold – $700,000 (Loss of $15,171)

Luke’s Inner-City Terrace in Glebe (Sky Blue)
Bought for $749,390; Budget of $149,878; Break even at $899,268
Sold – $925,000 (Profit of $25,732; 2.86%)

Peter’s Half-Done House in St Peters (Orange)
Bought for $668,403; Budget of $133,680; Break even at $802,083
Sold – $770,000 (Loss of $32,083)

Natalia’s Sixties Suburban in Castle Hill (Khaki)
Bought for $631,828; Budget of $126,366; Break even at $758,194
Sold – $730,000 (Loss of $28,194)

Michael’s Fibro Cottage in Blacktown (Navy Blue)
Bought for $309,990; Budget of $61,998; Break even at $371,988
Sold – $440,000 (Profit of $68,012; 18.28%)

Total prize money $94,889; rounded up to $100,000 by the producers.

It was a tough market to sell in, with Real Estate Expert Chris telling all viewers at the start of the show that the auction market in Sydney has only seen a 55% clearance rate of late. Had the houses that sold below their break even be passed it, the houses from The Renovators wouldn’t have even met that.

The episode was very well produced, with all the obligatory pregnant pauses and ad breaks at key junctures. Though the series hasn’t been the ratings success the network was expecting/banking on it to be, Channel 10 remain committed to a series in 2012 (albeit very likely to get a re-working). The highlights of the show came too late with very little audience connecting with the contestants around the final 12 stage, though those that did hang in did build a very strong and positive impression of the judging panel early on – committed, passionate and completely supportive of their contestant charges.

Whatever happens with the series, this first season of The Renovators has been interesting in every way possible. I’m glad I remained committed to it.