Apartments boom while house sales remain sluggish

New home sales have reached their highest level since early 2010, according to a survey of Australia’s largest volume builders.

Seasonally adjusted new home sales in March were 4.4 per cent higher than February, the Housing Industry Association (HIA) said.

Multi-unit sales saw a rise of 11.3 per cent, while detached house sales rose 2.6 per cent.

HIA economist Diwa Hopkins said the rise in both the detached and multi-unit segments of the market is an encouraging result.

“However, the broader trend is that growth over the past year has been driven by multi-unit sales, while detached house sales have tracked sideways,” she said.

The HIA welcomed last week’s cash rate cut by the Reserve Bank – a decision which Ms Hopkins said has arrested much of the uncertainty around monetary policy.

“Lower lending rates will provide added support to residential construction activity, which is emerging as a key area of growth mitigating the effects of the downturn in mining investment and construction,” she said.

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