New home sales tumble in February

by Julia Corderoy01 Apr 2016
New home sales have suffered a sharp decline in February, new figures have revealed.

According to the Housing Industry Association’s (HIA) New Home Sales Report, residential real estate sales tumbled 5.3% in February 2016.

“This latest result is a larger than desirable fall,” HIA chief economist, Dr Harley Dale said. 

“HIA New Home Sales are losing some of their lustre as a downward trend becomes more firmly entrenched.”

But the fall is no reason to ring alarm bells, Dale said. 

“New home sales are down, but far from out. Over the three months to February 2016, the sale of detached houses increased by 1.8%. The sale of multi-units nudged up by 0.8% over the same period.

“What we need to keep a watchful eye on are the signals that will shortly begin to emerge for 2016/17 from key leading housing indicators like new home sales and building approvals.

“Stage one of a down cycle in new home building will be moderate, but signs of a sharper contraction in subsequent stages may emerge as the year progresses.”

Seasonally adjusted detached home sales fell by 3.9% in February 2016, while the sale of ‘multiunits’ dropped by a sharper 10.6%.