Thousands ditch property plans

Wizard Home Loans says thousands of Australians have abandoned plans to invest in property over the next 12 months. Research indicates that more than 100,000 would-be investors ditched such plans between September and December. Wizard attributed the change to the Reserve Bank's two interest rate hikes late in 2003 and said this shows the RBA's tactics are having the desired effect, ending the “frenzied market movement” seen last year. The research showed that Queensland, Western Australia, Northern Territory and South Australia were at the “sharp end of the downturn” with families the first to withdraw. In Queensland, prospective investor numbers dropped 33 per cent in six months. Victoria and NSW fared best with falls of only 7 and 9 per cent respectively in the last quarter of 2003.