WA detached new home sales up 23.5% in June as unit sales help drive 2.8% national improvement: HIA

Detached new home sales increased by 23.5% in Western Australia over June, leading a 2.8% national gain across all new dwelling types, according the Housing Industry Association's (HIA) monthly survey of Australia's largest volume builders.

June was the third straight month of improving new home sales as recorded by the HIA, though they still remain at very low levels.

The national gain over June was driven by 15.7% jump in the sales of multi-units with the detached housing market flat, recording only a 0.7% gain.

"It is encouraging to see a second consecutive jump in the sale of multi-units," says HIA chief economist, Dr Harley Dale. “Sales were up by 30.8% over the June 2012 quarter.”

"It is, however, a stark reminder of how much catching up is left in the multi-unit sector when a lift of this magnitude still leaves sales volumes 36% below their 10 year average,” says Dale.

Over the June 2012 quarter detached house sales fell by 1.1% to be a sharp 24.5% lower than the volume for the June 2011 quarter.

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“That’s a concerning update which sees detached house sales running at an annualised level 35% lower than the 10 year average and 44% below the long-term history of the series."

“Lower interest rates will assist new housing in 2012/13, but the large gap between the cash rate and variable mortgage rates will blunt their positive impact."

“Investment and reform from governments is the key ingredient to lifting the new housing sector substantially above the recessionary levels of 2012. State governments have a crucial role to play, as do local governments, but it is the Federal Government that needs to act first and lead by example.”

WA detached house sales are up 9.3% over the June quarter, but the HIA says “problems with the building act means this improvement will not translate into construction activity any time soon”.

Detached house sales increased by 2% in NSW, 4.4% in South Australia, but fell by 9.6% in Victoria and by 11% in Queensland.

Over the June 2012 quarter detached house sales fell in New South Wales (-6.2%), Queensland (-21.1%) and South Australia (-8.3%).

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger was a property writer at Property Observer

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