New home sale numbers show slight increase

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The number of new homes sold nationwide in February rose by 0.6% on the previous month, according to figures from the Housing Industry Association (HIA).

After surveying the nation’s major residential builders, The HIA – JELD-WEN New Home Sales Report found that detached house sales were up by 1.5%, but multi-unit sales fell by 7.6%.

Despite February’s slight total increase in new home sales, HIA chief economist Harvey Dale warned that 2011’s new house sale performances have still been worryingly low compared to the previous two years.

“New home sales are running at volumes considerably below those experienced during the stimulus-driven run of 2009 and early 2010, while both local government building approvals and new housing loan approvals are trending down once more,” said Dale.

“At the very time when new home conditions need to be continually improving we are faced with compelling evidence of a considerably weaker 2011 compared to last year.”

When broken down to state level, the report found that detached new house sales increased by 0.9% in New South Wales and 2.9% in Victoria.

Sales fell by 13.3% in Queensland, which the HIA largely puts down to the effect of natural disasters, while South Australia and Western Australia saw drops of 4.3% and by 2.2% respectively.

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