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The HIA New Home Sales Report, a survey of Australia’s largest volume builders, shows sales of multi-units reaching a new cyclical peak last month.
By comparison, seasonally adjusted house sales fell 2.3 per cent over the same period.
“While total new home sales recorded a flat result in the month of September, this headline outcome masked a strong, 11 per cent lift in multi-unit sales,” HIA chief economist Harley Dale said.
“A moderate decline in detached house sales has been driving an overall loss of momentum in new home sales,” Mr Dale said.
“Conversely, sales of multi-units have gained a second wind since June this year, driven by both apartments and semi-detached/town house product,” he said.
“The September results reinforce these trends.”
Seasonally adjusted detached house sales fell by 2.3 per cent during the month to be down by 6.5 per cent over the September 2014 quarter.
The 11.0 per cent monthly rise in multi-unit sales followed a strong increase in the previous month, taking sales up by 8.7 per cent over the quarter, Mr Dale explained.
“The overall profile for new home sales is consistent with a healthy year for dwelling construction in 2014/2015. It would be desirable to see that outcome in detached and low-density construction in addition to the high-rise sector,” he said.
Detached house sales increased by 13.4 per cent in Queensland last month.
Detached house sales fell by 9.9 per cent in New South Wales, 5.6 per cent in Western Australia, 3.0 per cent in South Australia and 2.4 per cent in Victoria.
Over the September 2014 quarter detached house sales increased in NSW only (+2.6 per cent).
Sales fell by 15.1 per cent in Victoria, 8.5 per cent in WA, 2.8 per cent in SA and 1.5 per cent Queensland.