More work to be done to see healthy home sales: HIA

by Adam Smith02 Apr 2012

New home sales have seen a bounce in February, coming off January lows.

The HIA - JELD-WEN New Home Sales report has indicated a 3% rise in new home sales for February. The rise was driven largely by multi-unit sales, which jumped 10.5% for the month. Detached house sales, meanwhile, saw a more modest 2.2% rise.

HIA chief economist Harley Dale indicated that a weak result in Victoria pulled down new home sales figures across the country. He called the overall rise encouraging, but said there was "much more work to be done" to return sales volumes to "healthy levels".

"In a contemporary economic environment where interest rate settings are too high, finance conditions persistently tight, consumer and business confidence too low, and plans to tighten fiscal policy inappropriate, it is hard to envisage a sustained recovery in new home sales in coming months," he said.

Dale claimed that the "beginning of a recovery" was evident in WA, and suggested that there was the prospect of policy reform in NSW and Queensland paving the way for an increase of sales volumes through 2012/13.

"Obviously, further interest rate cuts wouldn't go astray in helping perpetuate this recovery," Dale said.

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