Number of detached house sales lift: Savanth Sebastian

Number of detached house sales lift: Savanth Sebastian
Number of detached house sales lift: Savanth Sebastian

GUEST OBSERVER

Data released showed that new home sales rose by 0.8 percent in April after falling by 1.1 percent in March.

The number of detached house sales rose by 2.2 percent in April. Multi-unit dwelling sales fell by 1.2 percent in April.

The home sales data has implications for banks, retailers, developers, building and building material companies.

What does it all mean?

The latest lift in new home sales essentially doesn’t alter the trend. The housing sector has peaked in terms of activity and is likely to be more subdued over the coming year. It is important to keep in mind that overall new home sales remain healthy, but the macro-prudential measure and resulting tight lending standards adopted by the banks will have a more lasting impact on housing activity.

The focus for policymakers will be the mix of investor and owner occupier loans over the next six months and what happens to house prices. It is clear that housing activity is consolidating with potential home buyers being more circumspect on purchases, given higher home prices and the lift in borrowing costs. The softening in home building should lead to a much more sustainable housing market.

Importantly the pipeline of new home building remains solid and should support an array of sectors and broad- based activity. The latest data doesn’t have a great influence on the next interest rate decision. The Reserve Bank is comfortably on the interest rate side lines for the rest of 2017.

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Number of detached house sales lift: Savanth Sebastian

What do the figures show?

New home sales

In seasonally-adjusted terms, new home sales rose by 0.8 percent in April after falling by 1.1 percent in March. The number of detached house sales rose by 2.2 percent in April. Multi-unit dwelling sales fell by 1.2 percent in April.

 The Housing Industry Association reported: “Amongst the jurisdictions surveyed, New South Wales (+2.2 percent), Victoria (+14.3 percent) and South Australia (+7.0 percent) all posted improving sales figures for private detached houses in April, while both Queensland (-4.7 percent) and Western Australia (-12.7 percent) recorded falls.”

What is the importance of the economic data?

The Housing Industry Association releases data on the sales of new homes each month. The HIA collects the data each month from a sample of Australia's largest 100 home builders. The survey covers around 14 percent of the home building industry. 

Savanth Sebastian is an economist for CommSec

Tags: 
Housing Affordability Housing Prices

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