It's a good thing the real estate market is on the up or Michael Caton may have had to cross host of Hot Property off his resume.
"If there's no happy endings, there's no show," the Packed to the Rafters star says over the phone from his Sydney home.
"In this series, depending on where you are, if you're in Queensland or maybe WA even who has taken a real hit recently, you probably won't have a happy ending unless you're buying. Sydney and Melbourne, while they haven't had as big gains as in the past, they are still going pretty strong. And then there's Darwin, with places going through the roof."
Hot Property started on Seven in 1999 and moved to Nine in 2010. Between 2000 and 2003, the program changed its name to Hot Auctions, and focused more on the auction process rather than renovations before being rested in 2006 during a particularly severe downturn in the real estate market nationally.
Now 12 seasons in, Hot Property is still a family favourite. "It was the first of all of those real estate shows and I suppose it's got a loyal audience out of that," Caton says.
While The Castle actor has a keen interest in property, he advises viewers to do as he says, not as he does.
"We moved about 300m down the street about three months ago when we moved from our flat and finally got a house, it was so stressful," he explains. "I did all the things that you aren't supposed to do, I bought the place and I hadn't sold. I had an investment property and the place I was living in and I had to sell them both and they weren't ready for sale.
"Whatever you hear me saying on the show, rest assured I never take my own advice and as a result get into a terrible hoo-haa with it."
Thursday night's episode will see the partner of Queensland sports doctor June Canavan, who died in a plane crash in PNG in 2009, put her house up for auction and donate all the proceeds to the June Canavan Foundation.
Caton - who was recently in Esperance holidaying with his wife Helen - says to expect the usual swag of emotional tales and maybe even a visit to Perth this season. "They always try to do something in Perth but my memory, you've got to forgive me, is not too good because we made this last year," he says.
Speaking of memory, Caton's Packed to the Rafters character, Ted, has undergone tests for dementia in recent episodes of the hit Seven show. However, after suffering a mild stroke, and witnessing how badly the incident affects Julie (Rebecca Gibney) and Dave (Erik Thomson) in last week's episode, Ted resolves to keep the tests to himself. Probably not a good call considering his diminishing memory resulted in catastrophic consequences for everyone when he left a soldering iron on and burnt down the shed.
"The storyline was sort of my idea actually," Caton says. "That's the great thing about Rafters actually, the producers don't mind you pitching stuff to them and they don't always do it. But this time they really liked the idea.
"Mum's been in a nursing home for five years, she's going on 103 and I watched her decline in terms of senility and dementia. She's there some days and she's not others. Then I've watched all her mates who she was in there with initially who have Alzheimer's and I've just watched them fade away.
"I didn't have to do a lot of research, let's just put it that way, just in terms of how to play it."Hot Property airs on Thursday at 8pm on Nine/WIN. Packed to the Rafters airs today at 8.40pm on Seven/GWN7.