Bullish borrowers keep housing on the boil

Investors borrowed $979 million for new residential developments in December 2002, an increase of 16 per cent for the month and an all-time high seasonally adjusted.

CommSec says there's anecdotal evidence, however, that investors are moving from the oversupplied Melbourne and Sydney markets and going to towns and cities such as Newcastle, Wollongong and Port Macquarie.

Repeated warnings from the Reserve Bank about the overheating of the housing market have apparently been ignored. But low interest rates are driving investment in property rather than in other alternatives, especially since equity markets have been performing poorly.