New home sales continue upward trend

by AB01 Mar 2013

New home sales hit a positive note for the new year, posting a fourth consecutive rise in January, according to the Housing Industry Association (HIA)’s New Home Sales report.

The report, a survey of Australia's largest volume builders, shows that total seasonally-adjusted new home sales increased by 4.2% in January 2013, reflecting a 4% increase in detached house sales and a 4.9% lift in multi-unit sales.

HIA chief economist, Harley Dale, says it’s promising to see the momentum of late 2012 carry into 2013.

"Over the three months to January this year, new home sales increased by 10%, although sales volumes were still 6.4% lower compared to the same period a year earlier. Sales of new detached houses have now increased over three consecutive months, a crucial improvement given the considerable weakness experienced through the majority of last year.”

Even now, he says, the volume of detached house sales isn’t much more than half the long-term average.

“Consequently, there is a long way to go to see evidence that new home building will reach the levels the economy requires as the contribution from resources-related investment wanes."