New Home Sales Are Flat But Units Are Hot

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Units are selling hard and fast in Australia, but home sales generally are flat, according to Australia’s builders.

The Housing Industry Association (HIA) Home Sales Report, a survey of Australia’s largest volume builders, shows sales of multi-units reaching a new cyclical peak in September.

Total new home sales recorded a flat result in September, but multi-unit sales jumped 11%. HIA Chief Economist Harley Dale says a moderate decline in detached house sales has been driving an overall loss of momentum in new home sales.

But sales of multi-units have gained a second wind since June this year, driven by both apartments and semi-detached/townhouses.

Seasonally adjusted detached house sales fell by 2.3% in September to be down by 6.5% over the September 2014 quarter. The 11.% monthly rise in multi-unit sales followed a strong increase in the previous month, taking sales up by 8.7%.

For September, detached house sales increased by 13.4% in Queensland but fell by 9.9% in New South Wales, 5.6% in Western Australia, 3% in South Australia and 2.4% in Victoria.

Over the September quarter, detached house sales increased in only NSW, up 2.6%. Sales fell by 15.1% in Victoria, 8.5% in WA, 2.8% in SA and 1.5% Queensland.

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