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New home sales creep up after December dip: HIA

The Housing Industry Association’s most recent statistics, for January 2014, have recorded a 0.5% increase, after a small decline was recorded in December.

HIA senior economist, Shane Garrett, said that new home sales have been rising steadily since the third quarter of 2012, as interest rates fell.

“The return of house price growth to most cities has done much to oil the market and allow transactions to start occurring in greater numbers,” Garrett said.

Compared to January 2013, new home sales are up 17%, with the three months to January 2014 recording an annual increase of 22.3% compared to the same quarter 12 months previous.

“Strengthening new home sales activity suggests that higher dwelling construction activity during early 2014,” he said.

Forecasts for new home commencements have now been revised upwards for 2014, with 165,000 commencements expected this year, followed by 168,000 in 2015. Stronger sales activity should come as a result.

“It is important to bear in mind that the new home sales recovery has not benefitted all states,” warned Garrett.

“State governments will be framing their budgets in the coming months, and it is vital that their policies work to sustain the housing market recovery,” he said.

In January 2014, new private detached house sales increased 10.9% in Victoria and 0.4% in Queensland, while declining by 6.9% in South Australia, 6.4% in New South Wales and 1.9% in Western Australia.

jduke@propertyobserver.com.au

Jennifer Duke

Jennifer Duke

Jennifer Duke was a property writer at Property Observer

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