House sales trending lower

Adam Smith 30 April 2018 NEWS

house-keys-saleDetached house sales are down in each of the first three months of 2018.

Detached house sales have fallen for the third consecutive month, new figures show.

The Housing Industry Association (HIA) New Home Sales Report has revealed detached house sales were down 2% for March, following on a 0.7% fall in February. Sales have now fallen in each of the first three months of 2018, HIA senior economist Shane Garrett said.

"The reduction in new house sales in Sydney and Melbourne is likely to be the result of tighter lending policies for investors being imposed by APRA," Garrett said.

These policies have since been lifted, with APRA saying banks had responded well to mitigate risk from property investment lending.

Garrett said first home buyer participation rose, partially offsetting the fall in investor involvement.

Detached house sales saw declines in every state except Queensland and WA, where Garrett said economic recovery was underway.

"Detached house building has always been of considerable importance in these two markets," he said.

The largest fall was in South Australia at 11.4%, followed by New South Wales at 7.2%. New house sales were up 26.2% in WA and 2.7% in Queensland.

"HIA's new house sales index is a leading indicator of activity on the ground. Based on today's results, new house building activity is likely to move lower on a national basis over the next few months," Garrett said.

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