Subdued Growth for New Home Sales: HIA


New home sales across Australia recorded a 1 per cent increase for the month of February, but the Housing Industry Association says the slight lift does little to reverse the falls of 2018.

New home sales for the three months to February are now 18.1 per cent lower compared to the same time last year reveal HIA’s New Home Sales Report.

Across the states Victoria recorded an increase of 2.5 per cent in new home sales compared to the previous month, South Australia was up 7.5 per cent and Western Australia recorded an increase of 5.1 per cent in comparison to the month prior.

Queensland was the hardest hit seeing a decrease of 5.5 per cent, while New South Wales saw a slight decrease of 1.7 per cent.

Related: Crane Spotting: Sydney Construction Falls While Melbourne Peaks

The HIA report is a monthly survey of the largest volume home builders in the nation's five largest states.

Despite the 1 per cent increase in new home sales for February, HIA chief economist Tim Reardon said the market has been trending downwards nationally since the end of 2017.

Taking in approvals for new homes, a trailing indicator of new home sales, the market is 8.1 per cent lower than in the same three month period a year prior.

With these lower levels of sales and approvals, Reardon said the building work in the pipeline is “rapidly” being completed.

On a more positive note, Reardon said new home sales and subsequently approvals are expected to stabilise in the first half of 2019.

“With the impacts of the credit squeeze moderating and the royal commission into misconduct in the banking, superannuation and financial services industry concluding.”

Related: Pace of Housing Downturn Slows in March

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