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Michael Ramsay is based in Melbourne and has operated his buyer's agency business Michael Ramsay Property, since 1998. He is a fully licensed real estate agent with over 20 years property experience. Michael has had extensive involvement with auctions, investments, the tender process and purchasing off the plan. This background has led to Michael becoming one of the most accomplished and respected buyers' advocates in Melbourne. Over 80% of Micheal's clients are either repeat or referred.

Over the past 10 years he has established an excellent relationship with the various agents who provide him with information of properties before they are exposed to the marketplace as well as establishing those that will never be released to the general public. With memberships of the REIV. Real Estate Institute of Victoria, and REBAA, Real Estate Buyers Agents Association of Australia, of which Michael was elected the inaugural president, Michael is committed to exceeding a high Standard of Practice and Code of Ethics. He has recently extended his business to Geelong and nearby coastal district and operates a boutique and proactive office with a team of five.

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Safe As Houses
post Posted: Sep 2 2013, 04:05 PM
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Does anyone know if historic interest rates for fixed home loans offered by individual banks can be accessed anywhere online? Or has anyone been tracking fixed interest rates over the last 12 - 18 months.

Economists out there seem to have their best guess at what the RBA will do to official rates each month, but I wouldnt mind getting a feel for how banks have altered their fixed rates at certain points in time.



post Posted: Mar 11 2013, 01:57 PM
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I know i cannot help but put my 2 cents in.

The property market is always great according to some people ,similar to the sharemarket for others.

My own humble opinion is that property will be in the doldrums for maybe the next 10 years and before you jump on me i base my prediction on cold hard facts such as property has never had such large returns in our lifetimes so it follows the bust will be protracted and we have not even taken into account that interest rates are historically low to stimulate it though it makes sense that they will rise in the future which will put more pressure on housing prices and it follows the next boom will be subdued as well.
I sold our residential investment properties before the bust of which the last was settled may 2010 though we retain commercial interests as they are different beasts and i can back this up with my posts predating the bust.

I then used the capital to buy bank shares for the return and capital gains and it seems like i was very lucky though i have no arguement with property as an investment,we made a fortune out of it ,it just reminds you to move capital around to the likely future gainers not yesterdays,cheers mrbear,ps i still think banking shares have more steam in them over the next 12 months

Safe As Houses
post Posted: Mar 11 2013, 12:51 PM
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Now that we are able to review a full month of property results for 2013, the outlook for the foreseeable future is positive. Clearance rates at auction are hovering at 70 per cent, with many inner suburbs experiencing a figure closer to 80 per cent. I see the 2013 market as demonstrating improved alignment in the expectations of buyers and sellers compared with the previous two years.

Super Saturdays offering in excess of 900 auctions did not weaken the appetite of buyers or the sales success rate, with sellers generally meeting the market. With multiple bidders at most auctions, the reason for any quality property now not selling appears to be an overly optimistic vendor.

Incredibly, the volume of stock has increased by more than 20 per cent over last year’s and, as well, the auction clearance rate has increased by about 8 per cent. In February, Melbourne market values rose by 1.5 per cent. For 23 March 1140 auctions are scheduled. Should the clearance rate remain consistent with February’s, vendors who have been holding back for the right time to sell will surely be interviewing appropriate agents to prepare a post-Easter marketing campaign.

The stock market is climbing at arguably an unsustainable rate of close to 5 per cent per month. The old adage of taking half the profits would seem a prudent move. You could then have a sufficient deposit for buying a blue-chip investment property while currently prices are affordable, money is cheap, rents are high and gearing is still tax deductible.

Without property investment I can almost guarantee you won’t have quite enough cash or assets to comfortably retire. We can help you with using your SMSF as a vehicle for your property investments.

Safe As Houses
post Posted: Dec 6 2012, 12:35 PM
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For the 2,619 auctions held during November, the clearance rate remained impressively resilient at 62 per cent, 12 per cent up on the beginning of the year and on this time last year. Together with 2,000 reported private sales, the property market reined in a tidy $1 billion in revenue for the month. The median price hovered at $530,000 and the rental vacancy rate remained virtually unchanged at a tad below 2 per cent.

The middle suburbs are now joining the inner suburbs in showing signs of a strengthening market, with volume and value of sales up 15 per cent on this time 12 months ago. There are definite signs of buyer confidence and of vendor willingness to meet the market. Official interest rates of 3 per cent should assist with the escalating costs of living even if the banks do not pass on the full 25 points of the recent drop. The real estate market should witness continued growth throughout 2013, assuming that buyers who wouldn’t walk under a ladder would still buy in the thirteenth year of a decade!

Interestingly, we are continually being commissioned to select appropriate properties for self-managed super funds. In recent months purchases have ranged from one-bedroom apartments to large commercial properties for consortiums. I personally run my own super fund, as does my business associate Andrew, and we find it not only cheaper to run (fees of 0.08% compared with 1.26%) but more flexible.

It is very satisfying to have control over what and where assets are invested using your hard-earned superannuation contributions. Self-managed super funds currently manage $440 billion and this figure is rising very strongly. If you are contemplating a residential or commercial property as an asset for your self-managed fund we would be very happy to discuss how we can help you achieve this goal with the minimum of fuss.

On behalf of the team at MRPA Melbourne and Geelong we wish you the happiest Christmas. May 2013 reward you with everything you desire and deserve.

post Posted: Nov 12 2012, 01:19 PM
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from the RBA

see p.36, and graphs

Australian capital city dwelling prices have risen by around 2 per cent since their May 2012 trough, although they are still around 5 per cent below their January 2011 peak . Recent price rises have been broad based, with prices in almost all state capitals increasing since May. Despite the increase in dwelling prices, and an increase in auction clearance rates, housing turnover has remained close to the low level of the early 1990s.

Rents have continued to grow strongly, with rental vacancy rates around 2 per cent and remaining near their historical lows. Nationwide, rents have increased by around 4 per cent over the past year. Given more modest growth in house prices, average
rental yields have risen to almost 5 per cent, from around 4½ per cent a year ago. Perth in particular has seen very strong growth in rents.

Residential construction activity continued to decline over the first half of the year, to reach low levels as a share of GDP. There are tentative signs, however, that demand for new housing is beginning to improve as falls in mortgage interest rates, higher rental yields and the recent turnaround in established housing prices have increased the attractiveness of new housing investment.

Building approvals appear to have reached a trough mid year, supported by a pick-up in higher-density housing. While approvals for detached houses have increased by less than total building approvals, typically it can take several quarters for falls in interest rates to spur recovery in this market.

"Every long-term security is nothing more than a claim on some expected future stream of cash that will be delivered into the hands of investors over time. For a given stream of expected future cash payments, the higher the price investors pay today for that stream of cash, the lower the long-term return they will achieve on their investment over time." - Dr John Hussman

"If I had even the slightest grasp upon my own faculties, I would not make essays, I would make decisions." ― Michel de Montaigne
post Posted: Nov 3 2012, 04:16 PM
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In Reply To: Safe As Houses's post @ Nov 2 2012, 11:36 AM

And I sense yet another real estate industry representative talking up what can only be described as a sick market (and that is being kind).

All we are seeing is sellers finally meeting the market as fear of their property remaining unsold over the 3 month property hibernation only to come back to an even weaker market in Feb 2013.

The Melbourne property market has always been a great barometer of the national economy as all previous rises and falls have always been led by that state, due to its high percentage of manufacturing employees. When manufacturing contracts, as we have been seeing over the last 5 years, those jobs lost in that sector have a perfect correlation to property activity in that state.

Talk to any manufacturing employee today and ask them how confident they are of their job being there when they get back from holidays in 2013. Until that sentiment changes, we will not see any sustained lift in property prices in Australia....the exception being Perth.


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Safe As Houses
post Posted: Nov 2 2012, 11:36 AM
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Melbourne Property Market

I sense the negative sentiments of a sluggish market and an oversupply of stock are dissipating and the overall feeling of the property market is upbeat. The median price during the last quarter, albeit small, has risen by 1% to $530,000. Buyer confidence has returned with multiple bidders’ common place at auctions and vendors are meeting the market with properties once sitting idle now securing new owners. Building approvals are up 8%.

As the rental vacancy rate is resting around 2% and first home buyers are behaving less aggressively due to their grants being reduced, investors are again active in the market place. The auction clearance rate didn’t waiver from its average of 64% under the duress of over 1,000 auctions on the weekend. The inner suburbs recorded auction success of closer to 75%. Total auction numbers reached nearly 3,000 with private sales and expressions of interest campaigns tipping the total offerings for October over 10,000.

Many suburbs have been recording an impressive upward swing during the last 3 months, the prize-winners being Thornbury 11%, Yarraville 9%, Preston 8%, and Mitcham 7%. About 10 newsletters ago we advised to keep an eye on Thornbury and Preston. We have in fact purchased in these suburbs to very happy investors.

The top end of town is making a comeback with recent sales in excess of $10 million not uncommon. There are also properties that are currently for sale at this level and above, in particular one Toorak Street alone having several homes chasing a $30 million price tag.

Geelong is witnessing a haven for investors where you can purchase an upgraded house for $450,000 with a higher yield and similar growth to Melbourne.

I hope you back a winner over the race week.

Safe As Houses
post Posted: Oct 8 2012, 10:27 AM
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From all accounts the real estate market in Melbourne's inner and bayside suburbs has a definite spring in its step. Quality properties for private sale and auction are growing in number, which assisted the auction clearance rate to reach a September average of 61 per cent, an improvement of ten percentage points on the same month last year.

The proportion of sales by auction, compared with private sales, is decreasing by 4 per cent per year to a level where approximately only one in five properties is being sold under the hammer. However, the majority of auctions occur in the inner suburbs and I suspect that the litmus test of about 1,000 auctions on the last weekend in October will see the current clearance rate maintained. Although there has been much recent talk of a property slump and of a glut of properties, the tide is turning and I predict satisfactory results for buyers and vendors alike in the lead-up to Christmas.

An increase in the number of quality properties on the market would help satisfy current buyers and further increase sales. With borrowing costs as low as they have been for four years, buyers' confidence is gaining momentum. Properties that are open for inspection are being well attended as long as the properties tick most boxes, with 20 to 30 groups of people commonplace and their comments upbeat. There were 2,238 reported sales for September with arguably a further 2,000 private sales not reported. The government earned $108 million in stamp duty, the rental vacancy rate was stable at 1.9 per cent and the median Melbourne house price has gained 4 per cent to $535,000. All in all, we have a market that is in reasonable shape.

Safe As Houses
post Posted: Sep 6 2012, 12:05 PM
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We all know that agents underquote and I have moaned about this activity in the past, but even for agents the gap between their estimate and the final sale price must be embarrassing. One agent in Albert Park was certainly red-faced to the extent of agreeing to pay a bidder for the building inspection fee because his estimate had been so far from the final figure.

I would be throwing in legal costs and travel expenses as well. If I can predict, within 5 per cent, the sale price of a property in 85 per cent of cases across 20 suburbs, surely an agent who operates in only a few suburbs can be more accurate in the estimated sale price given to potential buyers. Surely it is time to print a price range in the marketing and have the reserve within cooee of the stated estimate. How hard can it be!

Quality properties are selling well. I am fully aware that this sounds like a broken record. The media are even reaching for the thesaurus in search of describing the current activity differently. Of the four auctions where we were representing clients last weekend, all sold under the hammer, with multiple bidders. The auction at 21 Kerferd Street, Malvern East, attracted five bidders, having been unsuccessfully auctioned only three months earlier. That auction is not to be confused with 21 Kerferd Road, Glen Iris, which was auctioned on the same day and at the same time.

The price estimate for the Glen Iris property was recorded in the Review Weekly at $1.5 million but it sold for $1.888. What disgruntled my client and me was that at the auction the property was declared on the market in excess of $1.8 million. I had suggested that the house would sell towards $1.8 million but this was an outstanding result for the vendor who, by the way, was selling a beautiful house.

The market is turning and now even poorer-quality properties are attracting more than one buyer. Clearance rates at auction are up by 10 percentage points from last year, partly due to low auction stock levels, but also because of a higher level of confidence in the market and inexpensive borrowing opportunities. I am predicting buyers being more active and sellers meeting the market from here to Christmas. Investors are being motivated by a 1.9 per cent vacancy rate and are out there in force, while builder's labourers can probably afford anything they want.

The government reined in a tidy $94 million for the month in stamp duty and our enquiry lines have been as busy as ever. So, everyone is happy.

Safe As Houses
post Posted: Jun 6 2012, 01:33 PM
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It was heartening to read recent press acknowledgement that auctions in the inner suburbs are achieving an average clearance rate of 70 per cent (as I have stated on previous occasions). This news helps to balance the ongoing negativity from journalists and analysts alike in relation to the state of the real estate market.

Should it be correct that Melbourne’s house prices have declined 2.8 per cent during the month of May (figures seem to differ considerably), such a decline needs to be viewed in the light of unsustainable growth over the preceding three years.

The volume of stock sold during May remained steady at approximately 4,700 sales, with private sales continuing to outnumber auctions, returning a handy $123 million to state revenue. Personally I have witnessed mostly strong sales results in the inner suburbs where we source and secure 85 per cent of our properties.
There is also strength in the top end of the market with no shortage of $1 million-plus sales in Northcote, $2 million-plus sales in Richmond, $3 million-plus in Fitzroy, $4 million in Armadale and $5-$10 million sales in Brighton, Canterbury and Toorak. Although there has been a reported glut of properties on the market, the successful sales throughout the bayside and suburbs within 10 km’s of the CBD can be attributed mainly to a shortage of quality properties together with realistic reserve prices from vendors.

First-home buyers remain active, desperately wanting to secure a place to call home. Due to the strength in much of the market it is not uncommon to see prospective buyers in this sector of the market being accompanied by one or more relatives, not only for moral support I suspect. If you have a clear picture of the financial support you can obtain from the government in the form of home grants and stamp duty relief, and understand the cut-off dates and price caps that are in place, well done! If not, give us a call and we will go through it all with you.

The financial instability of troubled European countries will undoubtedly affect the property market in coming months as their economies slide further into debt and recovery funds dry up. The declining share market, already evident, will reduce people’s superannuation balances and their ability to invest in property. From July until December we are likely to experience very interesting times and negative press may well be justified. However, for the fortunate, lending is cheap, and real estate is prime for the picking.


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