New homes sales up for second month in a row in Australia

New home sales in Australia increased in September 2016 for a consecutive month, up 3.8%, a further increase on the 2.9% recorded the previous month, the latest data shows.

The month on month growth was driven by detached house sales which increased by 3.8% while apartment sales were down by 0.8%, according to the survey figures from the Housing Industry Association (HIA).

However, HIA senior economist Shane Garrett said that the current mix of available indictors suggests that new home building activity has now passed its peak and that the 2015/2016 financial year will not be matched in terms new dwelling starts.

He explained that this is particularly the case for multi-residential sales which eased by 6.2% during the September 2016 quarter compared with the same period a year earlier.

A breakdown of the figures show that detached house sales fell in four out of the five states covered by the report, an exact reversal of the situation in August. The largest fall in sales was recorded in South Australia where they declined by 23%, followed by Western Australia down 17.2%, New South Wales down 12.9% and Queensland down 2.6% while sales increased by 14% in Victoria.

Meanwhile, HIA managing director Shane Goodwin told the organisation’s Housing 2030 summit that smaller, affordable family homes and housing for the older generation will be increasingly needed in Australia.

‘Providing these additional homes where they are needed and at an affordable price will require a cooperative partnership between governments, communities, regulators and industry. We can’t ignoring these challenges, or expect others to deal with them. We can’t leave this to chance,’ he told the meeting in Sydney.

‘Aligning housing supply, type, location and affordability with employment outcomes in a national housing agenda provides a substantial roadmap for housing supply towards 2030,’ he pointed out, adding that there needs to be a blueprint to develop and deliver a comprehensive and sustainable housing sector for a growing and changing population.