There was little movement in the total new home sales last month, but Western Australia (WA) and Victoria scored positive results, the Housing Industry Association (HIA) said in a recent statement.
HIA chief economist, Dr Harley Dale said the association’s latest homes sales report comprising a survey of Australia’s largest home builders – revealed a bare movement of only +0.2 percent last month in new home sales.
“There was also very little movement in the two sub-series with detached house sales ticking down by 0.1 percent in February and the sales of ‘multi-units’ growing by one percent,” Dale said.
“The profiles for HIA detached house sales and ABS detached house building approvals are very similar. In the case of detached house sales, over the three months to February this year the volume fell by 2.2 percent to a level 5.2 percent lower than achieved over the three months to February last year.”
“The updates that we are receiving for these two key leading indicators of new home building activity are consistent with a modest reduction in national new detached house commencements in 2016/17. We are forecasting a decline of two percent in the detached house starts in Australia in 2016/17 following a similar-sized fall of one percent in 2015/16.”
As with all aspects of the current housing cycle, Dale said there were large differences in conditions for detached housing between states and territories.
“HIA’s detached house sales series for the five mainland states has been consistently highlighting this point for some years now.
“In 2017, we expect the profile for leading indicators such as detached house sales to slowly improve for Western Australia and South Australia. At the same time, the volume of detached house sales on the eastern seaboard is expected to trend lower.”
Detached house sales rose in two out of five mainland states namely in WA and Victoria last month.
In WA, house sales increased by 11.3 percent last month while detached home sales in Victoria posted a monthly gain of 5.1 percent in February.
Elsewhere in the mainland states, detached house sales fell by 12.6 percent in NSW, 5.7 percent in Queensland and 0.2 percent in South Australia last month.