Home sales make ‘partial recovery’ in August

Total new home sales mounted a partial recovery in August after a “rather hefty” fall in July, a new survey has found.

The monthly Housing Industry Association (HIA) survey revealed that while new home sales fell by 9.7 per cent in July, they increased again by 6.1 per cent in August.

Nationwide, these sales increased by 12.1 per cent in South Australia, 8.7 per cent in New South Wales, 7.8 per cent in Western Australia and by 4.2 per cent in Queensland, falling only in Victoria by 5 per cent.

The survey also found that the number of seasonally-adjusted detached house sales had declined by 7.4 per cent in July, increasing by 2.9 per cent in August, while ‘multi-unit’ sales dropped by 17.3 per cent in July, before recovering again by 17.8 per cent in August.

HIA chief economist Harley Dale noted that the “sales of new detached houses and ‘multi-units’ didn’t rebound sufficiently [following] the decline in July”, adding that “these latest New Home Sales figures therefore don’t paint a stellar picture of an August recovery, following, as they do, a big drop in July”.

“Australia is in the midst of the longest and biggest new home building cycle in the nation’s history,” he said.

“Despite being at the mature stage of this cycle we still face a situation where key leading indicators… point to healthy levels of construction ahead, even if volumes will be down on the 2015/16 record high.”

“[U]nless you’re a pessimist looking for a large black hole, then this latest update is a long way from a downbeat story,” he added.

“That is a great result when the level of national new home building has already grown over four consecutive years.”

[Related: Housing commencements reach record high]

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Tamikah Bretzke

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