New home sales have risen for the fourth consecutive month, giving a positive signal for broader economic activity, according to the Housing Industry Association.
Private sector new home sales have risen 2.9% in April and are up 6% over the three months to April.
Multi-unit sales increased by 9.3% in April, and detached house sales increased by 1.8%, the sixth consecutive increase for this sector.
“The recovery in new home building is a key plank in Australia’s economic growth, as evidenced by the March quarter construction work done figures released yesterday,” said HIA chief economist Dr Harley Dale.
He said momentum in new home building activity will carry over into the June quarter, while movement for leading indicators such as new home sales and building approvals will provide “crucial insight” to economic growth over the next year.
“It is not just the magnitude of a new home building recovery that is important, but also the breath and duration of that recovery. Market forces are to date largely overcoming the excessive tax and regulatory environment in which the sector operates, while the structural shortage of skilled labour has yet to fully rear its head in the cycle,” Dale said.
“To unleash the productivity dividend the new home building sector can provide the Australian economy in addition to the positive impetus already in play, policy makers across all levels of government need to address these structural impediments.”
In April, seasonally adjusted detached house sales increased by 6.4% in Western Australia, 5.2% in New South Wales, and 0.5% in Victoria.
But detached house sales fell by 2.1% in Queensland and 6% in South Australia.
ASIC cuts down on bad apple brokers
Public trusts banks more than brokers
Housing at its most affordable in a decade