New home sales and auction results continue to improve

The housing market is continuing to outperform the rest of the economy with sales of new homes recording a fourth consecutive monthly increase in April, according to new Housing Industry Association figures.


Sales of new homes rose by a total of 0.5% during April to be 22% higher than a year ago. There was also a 1.1% increase in the amount of detached houses sold.

NSW saw the biggest increase at 4.5%, followed by QLD at 2.9% and VIC with a 1.5% increase. Sales fell by 4% in WA and by a massive 4.8% in SA, but the HIA says both states recorded higher sales overall over the three months ending in April.

“The combination of low interest rates and the $21,000 First Home Boost has lifted prospects for the housing industry, which is expected to convert to a recovery in home building activity from the June quarter of 2009,” HIA chief economist Harley Dale said in a statement.

While sales of apartments and units dropped by 5.6%, indicating a 6% fall over the three months ending in April, Dale said that housing is performing particularly well.

“We still have some negative news to digest. But most of it is historical. The leading indicators point to housing as an emerging bright spot in the economy.”

Meanwhile, auction results in the country’s two largest markets have continued to post strong figures.

In Melbourne, Real Estate Industry of Victoria chief executive Enzo Raimondo said that the market “is going from strength to strength”. The market saw an 82% clearance rate, up from last week’s 81%, with 546 properties sold at a total of $325.9 million.

In Sydney, the clearance rate increased from last week’s 60% to 75%, with 204 properties selling at a total of $140.9 million.

Brisbane’s rate rose to 39% after dropping 14 points to 33% last week, but only seven properties were sold at a total of $1.9 million. Adelaide dropped to 50% with nine properties sold totalling $3.7 million.


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