New Australia home sales suffered a slide at the start of the country's new financial year, with a downward trend emerging.
The figures in the HIA New Home Sales Report, a survey of Australiaâs largest volume builders, follow a "very strong" 2013/14.
Total seasonally adjusted new home sales posted a fall of 5.7 per cent in the month of July 2014, while over the three months to July total sales declined by 3.5 per cent. The monthly decline was reflected in both detached house and multi-unit sales, the former falling by 4.7 per cent, while the latter was down by 10.9 per cent.
Nonetheless, HIA Economist Dr. Harley Dale still forecasts a "reasonably healthy level of sales activity" in the coming year.
"In terms of forward indications, new home sales and building approvals may have peaked for the cycle, but their levels remain historically elevated," he notes. "This situation, together with longer lag times and a repositioning of geographical momentum at this stage of the current cycle, combine to mean
that 2014/15 will be another healthy year for new home construction."
"A serious focus on addressing conspicuous impediments to new housing supply, such as large and costly planning delays and a significant lack of titled land would of course extend the recovery, to the benefit of economic growth, labour market outcomes, and housing affordability," he concludes.
Photo credit: Kev Whelan