Investor interest in Australian property fades

Tuesday 20 April 2004

SYDNEY: Australians borrowed less money to invest in residential property for the fourth straight month in February, reinforcing the central bank's view that the risk from a credit boom is diminishing.

By The Landlord

Lending for the purchase of dwellings by individuals for rent and resale fell 3.7 per cent in February, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported. In January, such lending dropped 13.6 per cent.

The figures are seasonally adjusted.

The report comes a day after Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Ian Macfarlane said risks from excessive credit growth and rising home prices had become "less menacing," making life easier for policy makers in 2004.

Economists said Macfarlane's Wednesday night speech indicated the bank would hold rates in coming months but may tighten policy again later in 2004 if the housing market were to rebound.

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