PHOTO: SUPPLIED – Block 2018 contestants Chlo and Em.

The Block houses have reserves set at less than $1 million, Stuff understands, with a cap put on the reserves to ensure there isn’t a repeat of last year’s dismal auction.

While broadcaster MediaWorks and real estate agents Ray White wouldn’t confirm the reserves ahead of Sunday night’s auction, a close source told Stuff this year’s houses had lower reserves to ensure contestants didn’t leave empty-handed.

Although she wouldn’t say what the reserves were set at, Ray White’s Hobsonville general manager Amy Anderson said buyers had a good chance of snatching “bargains”.