New home sales down for the first time in 2015

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New home sales in Australia dropped for the first time this year in May according to figures from the Housing Industry Association (HIA).

The HIA’s New Home Sales Report for May showed a seasonally adjusted drop in new home sales of over 2%, with poor house sales to blame.

“The four month winning streak came to a modest end in May 2015 with total seasonally adjusted new home sales falling by 2.3%,” HIA chief economist Harley Dale said.

“The decline was driven by a 5.1% dip in detached house sales, reflecting weaker monthly demand in four out of the five states surveyed,” Dr Dale said.

While it’s the first drop off in new home sales for the year, Dr Dale said building conditions are still healthy.

“This is a softer result at face value, but delving beneath the surface reveals an aggregate profile of healthy new home building conditions in 2015.

“The mature stage of the new home building cycle primarily reflects further momentum in the ‘multi-unit’ sector, together with persistence of healthy conditions in New South Wales and Victoria.

New sales of multi-units increased by 7.6% during the month to yet a new record level, with sales volumes up by 26.7% over the three months to May.

In May 2015 detached house sales increased by 3.3% in Queensland, but fell by 2.3% in NSW, 9.9% in Victoria, 5.2% in South Australia, and 8.1% in Western Australia.

In the May 2015 quarter, detached house sales increased in NSW (+5.2%) and Victoria (+6.2%). Sales fell over the three month period in SA (-8.1%), Queensland (- 7.5%), and WA (-1.3%).

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