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New homes sales fall in Australia

Sales of new homes in Australia fell in April following a surprisingly strong surge the previous month, according to the latest industry report.

The Housing Industry Association (HIA) said its survey of large volume housebuilders revealed that new home sales declined by a seasonally adjusted 4.7% in April, down from March when they jumped 8.9%. But despite the fall in sales, the survey pointed to healthy home construction levels – which will naturally impact on future housing supply in the country.

“The trend in new home sales reiterates that the peak for the cycle has passed, but the descent we’re now observing is very mild,” said HIA economist Diwa Hopkins.

“This signals the potential for very healthy home construction activity throughout 2016, much as we have been anticipating.”

Sales of detached homes declined by 3%, while sales in the unpredictable multi-unit sector dropped 10.8%.

“Our forecasts reflect an expectation that a modest decline in new home building in 2016 will be largely driven by a decline in multi-unit construction, following the successive record levels that occurred in 2015 and 2014,” Hopkins added. 

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