New home sales rose a seasonally adjusted 3.4% in June, with detached houses offsetting a huge fall in apartment sales.
The Housing Industry Association reports that new home sales grew for the fourth consecutive month, recovering from record lows in 2012 to reach the highest level since November 2011.
Year-on-year, new home sales fell 4.3% in 2012-13 when compared with 2011-12.
Detached house sales rose 7.3% in June, driven by a 19.7% increase in Victoria, 7.1% in Western Australia, 3.9% in New South Wales and 0.5% in South Australia, and despite an 11% fall in Queensland.
Apartment sales fell 17.5%, after modest growth of 5.7% in May and a 9.4% fall in April.
HIA chief economist Harley Dale described 2012-13 as a “year of two halves”, with apartment sales leading house sales in the first half, and detached houses dragging up sales figures in later months.
Despite sales growth in recent months, Dale said there was “still a long way to go”.
Earlier this week, the ABS reported a disappointing fall in the number of building approvals issued in June, while UBS said banks expected to field fewer mortgage applications because Australians were pessimistic about the economy.
“It has been very encouraging to observe upward momentup build as we moved through 2012/13,” Dale said. “There is still a long way to go.
“New home sales volumes are 27% down on their long term average.
“A range of leading indicators beyond just new home sales are yet to provide evidence of Australia approaching the healthy and geographically broad-based new home building levels required by our growing population and transitioning economy.”
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