New home sales hit two-year low

Adam Smith 30 November 2016

house xy axis graphA steep drop-off in new home sales has been touted as “not unexpected” by the housing industry.

New figures from the Housing Industry Association show new home sales suffered an 8.5% decline during October. The fall took sales to their lowest volume since July 2014.

“Sales on both sides of the market saw sizeable reductions during October. Detached house sales were down by 8.2% during the month, while multi-unit sales fell by 9.2%,” HIA senior economist Shane Garrett said.

But Garrett said the reduction in the volume of new home sales was “not unexpected”, and pointed out that Australia was “coming to the end of its longest and strongest new home building upturn”.

“October’s new home sales results are consistent with the HIA’s latest forecasts for new home building starts, which foresee a reasonably marked reduction in activity over the next couple of years. Even so, activity is projected to fall to a low point of around 172,000 new dwelling starts during 2018/19, about the same as the average of the past decade,” Garrett said.

New detached home sales volumes fell across three of the five mainland states covered in the report. Victoria saw the largest decline, at 20.4%. Western Australia followed with a 5.6% drop, while New South Wales sales volumes fell 2.8%. New detached house sales rose in Queensland and South Australia, up 4.5% in Queensland and a slim 0.8% in South Australia.

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