New home sales were up 0.8% in the June quarter. It was the first quarterly improvement since the December quarter in 2017, according to a report from the Housing Industry Association (HIA).

The small improvement in sales during the June quarter suggested that the decline in new home sales was starting to ease, said HIA chief economist Tim Reardon.

There was also a benefit to the building industry downturn, according to Reardon.

“The upside of the current building industry downturn is that activity levels have synchronised across the east and west coasts – and within each state – making it easier for policymakers to coordinate policy settings,” said Reardon.

Two interest-rate cuts, a tax cut, and repeal of regulatory restrictions would also encourage increased activity in the home building market, according to Reardon.

“These measures, combined with ongoing stable population and employment growth should see new home sales improve toward the end of the year,” said Reardon.