New home sales past peak
Total new home sales have fallen, leading an industry economist to declare the market past its peak.
The HIA New Home Sales Report has shown a 4.7% decline for new home sales in April, with a 3% decline for detached house sales and a 10.8% fall for unit sales.
Four of the five mainland states saw lower sales in April. Only Victoria saw a rise, with sales of detached houses rising 14.3% in the state due to broad-based builder activity in April.
HIA economist Diwa Hopkins said the figures indicated that the peak for new home sales had passed, but downplayed the decline in sales as “very mild”.
“This signals the potential for very healthy home construction activity throughout 2016, much as we have been anticipating,” Hopkins said.
Hopkins said the decline in activity brought new home sales in line with the HIA's forecasts.
“This overall trajectory of total new home sales is consistent with our long-held expectations for new home building activity,” Hopkins said.
Hopkins forecast a “modest decline” in new home building for the remainder of 2016, largely driven by a decline in multi-unit construction, and pointed to the "successive record levels that occurred in 2015 and 2014".