New home sales hit 18-year low: Midday roundup

New home sales have hit an 18-year low, according to the latest figures from the Housing Industry Association.

The HIA’s latest new home sales report shows sales fell by 3.7% in September, the third consecutive month of falls.

The decline was due to a 3.5% fall in the detached housing market, with multi-unit sales dropping by 4.2%.

“Interest rates have come down since November 2011 and there is a recognition that the home-buying environment has improved in 2012,” HIA economist Harley Dale said in a statement.

“However, households remain reticent to actually make a decision to buy.”

Global economic instability to continue, CBA warns

Commonwealth Bank of Australia chairman David Turner said at the company’s annual general meeting today that while he is optimistic about the long-term outlook for Australia, global instability will continue.

“While the US economy doesn’t appear to be getting any worse, there are not yet signs of a sustained recovery,” he said.

“In Europe it’s difficult to see the complex problems which face the European Union being remedied quickly yet Europe is a central plank in the global economy.”

“The medium-term outlook for the Chinese economy seems sound but inevitably there will be short-term uncertainty and volatility which may well affect the pace of economic growth.”

Tinkler and Mirvac settle $17 million dispute

Nathan Tinkler and Mirvac have settled their $17 million property deal.

In a brief hearing in the NSW Supreme Court this morning, both parties confirmed they had agreed to terms on a confidential settlement.

“I congratulate the parties on resolving the matter,” Justice Michael Slattery said.

Mirvac arm Domaine Steel sued two of the mining magnate’s businesses, Ocean Street Holdings and Buildev Group, in the NSW Supreme Court after Tinkler failed to honour an agreement to buy industrial land for a new coal terminal in Newcastle for $17 million.

Shares rise despite no lead from US

The Australian sharemarket opened slightly higher this morning despite no lead from the US, with stock trading discontinued as hurricane Sandy continues to cause major flooding in Manhattan.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 18 points or 0.4% to 4,495.1.



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