New home sales rebound

New home sales hit the right note for the new year, posting a fourth consecutive rise in January.

According to the latest Housing Industry Association (HIA) New Home Sales report, seasonally-adjusted new home sales increased by 4.2 per cent in January 2013, reflecting a 4.0 per cent increase in detached house sales and a 4.9 per cent lift in multi-unit sales.

It is a promising update to see the momentum of late 2012 carrying into the new year.

Over the three months to January this year, new home sales increased by 10 per cent, although sales volumes were still 6.4 per cent 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, the volume of detached house sales is not 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.

In the month of January 2013, detached house sales increased by 9.1 per cent in Victoria, 10.6 per cent in South Australia, and 7.4 per cent in Western Australia. Sales fell by 1.3 per cent in New South Wales and were down by 6.0 per cent in Queensland.


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