Australia’s builders says the financial year got off to a weak start for new homes sales.
The Housing Industry Association’s chief economist Harley Dale says the 2013/14 financial year saw the recovery in new home sales gather strong momentum but the 2014/15 year has started with confirmation of a downward trend emerging.
“Nevertheless, we still expect this year to record a reasonably healthy level of sales activity,” he says.
Total seasonally adjusted new home sales posted a fall of 5.7% in the month of July 2014, while over the three months to July, total sales declined by 3.5%.
The monthly decline was reflected in both detached house (4.7% fall) and multi-unit sales (10.9% fall).
The latest building approvals data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics also shows a decline in activity. The number of dwellings approved fell 1.1% in June.
“New home sales and building approvals may have peaked for the cycle, but their levels remain historically elevated,” says Dale.
“This situation, together with longer lag times and a repositioning of geographical momentum at this stage of the current cycle, combine to mean that 2014/15 will be another healthy year for new home construction.”
In the month of July 2014, detached house sales increased by 4.1% in South Australia and by 3.1% in New South Wales.
Detached house sales fell by 9.3% in Victoria, 7.1% in Western Australia and 6.5% in Queensland.
Over the three months to July 2014, detached house sales declined in each of the surveyed states.
Sales fell by 5.4% in SA, 4.4% in WA, 3.6% in NSW, 2.3% in Victoria and by 0.7% in Queensland.
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