NSW tops housing market rankings

New South Wales has been named the strongest housing market in the nation, according to the Housing Industry Association’s (HIA) recently released Housing Scorecard.

The bi-annual report showed that NSW finished in top spot with a score of 83, followed by Victoria (77), Western Australia (73), the ACT (63), Queensland (59) and Tasmania (51).

The Northern Territory and South Australia were ranked as having the weakest housing markets, with a score of 49.

HIA economist Geordan Murray said the strong level of new home building activity in NSW has helped the state maintain its stranglehold on the top spot, with strong performances across a range of indicators, “but most significantly the indicators relating to detached housing”.

Mr Murray also noted that the two major residential building markets of New South Wales and Victoria are performing strongly at the same time.

“This has not happened for a long time,” he said. “With this in mind, it is not surprising the volume of expenditure on new home building reached an all-time high according to the latest national accounts.”

Mr Geordan said the analysis also paints a much better picture of conditions in Tasmania.

“After being stuck at the bottom of the league table for eleven consecutive quarters, the state has finally made a move up the order,” he said.

“This is partially due to the pull-forward of building resulting from the first home buyer incentive scheme being pared back earlier in the year, but there are also other signs of a broader economic recovery emerging in the state.”

While the Northern Territory and South Australia jointly hold down last place, Mr Geordan said they do so in very different circumstances.

“The Northern Territory is feeling the pinch following the mining boom, which also saw a boom in multi-unit dwelling construction – the Territory is simply adjusting to the changing economic order,” he said.

“In contrast, broad economic malaise in South Australia has damaged spirits. Businesses are lacking the confidence to invest while households are unwilling to spend. The state’s 7.3 per cent unemployment rate is a damning statistic.

“The state needs a circuit breaker, it is time for the state’s leaders to inspire some confidence.”

[Related: Calmer property market predicted for 2016]

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