New home sales remain steady

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NEW home sales across Australia are returning to levels seen this time last year, holding steady in the three months in October compared to previous quarter.

The latest HIA New Home Sales report showed sales are now only 3.1% lower than this time last year when the market began to cool.

Angela Lillicrap, HIA economist, said the report and housing finance data indicate that the housing market has stabilised over the past six months, after the bottom of the cycle occurred in April.

“At this time last year the market for new homes was cooling rapidly. Sales have now returned to levels similar to this time last year.”

New home sales were relatively flat in Western Australia, and slipped in Victoria (by 1.2%) and South Australia (by 1.0 %) compared to the previous three month period.

Queensland increased by 5.7% while New South Wales declined by 4.9%.

“There are no indications that new home sales are returning to the levels experienced in the boom years of 2015 to 2017. But the improvement over the past six months suggests that this downturn will not be deep, in comparison to previous cycles,” Lillicrap said.

“Wider economic conditions remain positive, just not as buoyant as the market has come to expect.

“Exports are continuing to exceed all forecasts, unemployment remains stable and the number of people participating in the labour market has been growing which is an indicator of a healthy labour market.”

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