New home sales fall in November: Housing Industry Association

A report by the Housing Industry Association shows new homes sales fell for a third consecutive month in November.

There was a 2.7 per cent drop in sales for the month on the back of slowing population growth, higher mortgage costs, and easing property price growth in Sydney and Melbourne.

"(This) confluence of factors is driving a decline in leading indicators of new home construction," observed the HIA's chief economist Harley Dale in the report.

"In a welcome sign for the short term residential outlook, leading indicators such as HIA's new home sales didn't fall sharply in the second half of 2015."

The report shows a 1.1 percent increase in detached home sales but a 15.1 percent drop in multi-unit sales.

However, Dr Dale said the residential construction sector remains in an historically strong position.

"We expect that commencements held up well in the December quarter last year and that they will remain at historically healthy levels in the first half of this year," he added.

CommSec chief economist Craig James agrees, but said the boost to new dwelling construction will put downward pressure on property price growth.

"There is greater caution on the part of buyers and builders and that suggests slower price growth ahead in 2016," he wrote in a note.

"The slowdown is clearly welcome, with a better balance between demand and supply expected as 2016 progresses."

Detached house sales increased in three out of five mainland states with a jump of 8 per cent in Queensland, a climb of 3.3 per cent in Victoria, and a rise of 0.7 per cent in New South Wales.

Source: ABC News

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