Australian New Home Sales Rise 6.2% In December

The Australian housing construction market is poised for recovery, with new home sales rising by 6.2% on a seasonally adjusted basis in December 2012, the third monthly increase in a row, showed the HIA New Home Sales report.

In a sign that new construction is accelerating, new home sales rose by 3.3% over the December quarter, with the latest increase having a solid foundation, according to Housing Industry Association economist Geordan Murray.

Sales of detached housing and multi-units rose across all states apart from South Australia, although the rise seen in the past three months starts from a very low base and volumes remain low by recent historic standards.

Last year, the multi-unit sector saw a solid improvement with sales surging by 24.1%, but sales of detached housing plunged by 22.7%.

Murray is cautiously optimistic about the prospects of a mild rebound in 2013, but warned that further supply-side reform is needed to meet the country’s demand for housing.

In December, detached housing sales jumped 12.2% in Western Australia, 7.1% in New South Wales, 6.0% in Victoria and 3.8% in Queensland. Sales slowed by 1.8% in South Australia after three consecutive monthly increases.

Over the quarter, sales increased most in New South Wales (14.4%), which was driven by new home owner incentives. Sales were up by 9.3% in South Australia and up by 2.5% in Western Australia. They declined by 8.5% in Victoria and by 5.4% in Queensland.