Australian unit sales went bonkers in May

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For the first time this year, new home sales across Australia have fallen.

According to the HIA, new home sales fell by 2.3% in May, with sales of detached homes sliding by 5.1%, offsetting a 7.6% surge in unit sales.

Sales of detached housing fell in all states bar Queensland with Victoria, at 9.9%, recording the largest month-on-month decrease.

Despite the soft headline figure, HIA chief economist Harley Dale says home building conditions remain healthy with unit sales hitting a record-high during the month.

“This is a softer result at face value, but delving beneath the surface reveals an aggregate profile of healthy new home building conditions in 2015. The mature stage of the new home building cycle primarily reflects further momentum in the ‘multi-unit’ sector, together with persistence of healthy conditions in New South Wales and Victoria. The May New Homes Sales Report reinforces this profile.

New sales of multi-units increased by 7.6 per cent during the month to yet a new record level, with sales volumes up by 26.7 per cent over the three months to May. Meanwhile strength in detached houses sales is evident in NSW and Victoria, with growth in the May 2015 ‘quarter’ of 5.2 per cent and 6.2 per cent, respectively. Leading indicators such as new home sales and ABS building approvals will provide vital clues in coming months of the sustainability and composition of the upcycle in new home building in 2015/16″.

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