While the average number of home sales throughout February was flat across Australia, this was propped up by sales in two states, Western Australia and Victoria.
The New Home Sales Report by the Housing Industry Association (HIA) shows a slight movement in home sales of only +0.2% during February.
“There was also very little movement in the two sub-series with detached house sales ticking down by 0.1% in February and the sales of ‘multi-units’ growing by 1.0%,” said HIA chief economist Harley Dale
For detached houses in the three months prior to February, the volume fell by 2.2% to a level which is 5.2% lower than that found in the same period last year, he added.
“The updates that we are receiving for these two key leading indicators of new home building activity are consistent with a modest reduction in national new detached house commencements in 2016/17.
“We are forecasting a decline of 2% in detached house commencements in Australia in 2016/17 following a similar-sized fall of 1% in 2015/16.”
Dale continued, pointing out that there are large differences between detached housing sales between states and territories.
“In 2017, we expect the profile for leading indicators such as detached house sales to slowly improve for Western Australia and South Australia. At the same time, the volume of detached house sales on the eastern seaboard is expected to trend lower.”
In February this year, detached house sales in WA increased by 11.3% following a 12.1% rise in January. However, the HIA notes that these growth rates are exaggerated by the low base rate for detached house sales within the state.
Victoria was the other state with positive growth in detached housing sales, reaching a 5.1% increase in February.
In the other mainland states, sales for detached houses fell by 12.6% in NSW, 5.7% in Queensland and 0.2% in South Australia.