New home sales "stumble" in February led by 13.7% drop in Victoria: HIA

The latest HIA new home sales report suggests further woes for the outer Melbourne fringe land market with new detached house sales falling 13.7% in Victoria over February.

The state led a 5.3% seasonally adjusted national decline in new home sales over February reflecting a 4% reduction in detached house sales and an 11% drop in multi-unit sales.

Sales of new detached houses fell 2.8% in New South Sales and 6.7% in South Australia.

Increases in detached house sales occurred in both Western Australia (+1.9%) and Queensland (+0.8%) during February.

The results are based on a survey of Australia's largest volume builders

“These data are disappointing in the context of the growth in sales over previous months,” says HIA senior economist, Shane Garrett.

“The broadly based decline in activity during February is a reminder of how delicate the nascent recovery in the housing industry really is.

“If we take a broader view of the situation, the overall direction of activity is still quite encouraging.

“New home sales are up strongly over the last three months in almost all states, in terms of both houses and multi-units.

“Nonetheless, February’s data emphasise how far housing market activity has fallen from the levels of just three years ago. The industry is struggling in the current economic environment and strong policy measures will be required to bring market activity back up to levels consistent with Australia’s long term requirements."

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger was a property writer at Property Observer

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