The end of 2015 was encouraging for Australia’s construction industry according to the Housing Industry Association (HIA), with December ending three straight monthly falls in the sale of new homes.
According to the HIA’s New Home Sales Report for December, the final month of 2015 saw the sale of new homes rise to their highest level since July.
“Total seasonally adjusted new home sales finished last year strongly, recording a 6% increase in December,” HIA chief economist Harley Dale said.
“The headline monthly rise in December 2015 is a result driven, encouragingly, by both the detached house and ‘multi-unit’ segments of the market. Private detached house sales increased by 2.2%, while multi-unit sales jumped by 21.1%,” Dr Dale said.
While Dr Dale said the December figures are somewhat of a positive sign for the nation’s construction industry, those in the industry will be keeping a close eye on conditions through 2016.
“Key leading indicators of new home building such as HIA-ACI New Home Sales and ABS Building Approvals and new housing finance are consistent with very healthy national construction volumes persisting throughout the first half of 2016. These indicators are also signalling a continuation in 2016 of very large differences in new housing conditions across the states,” he said.
“The updates we receive for leading indicators in coming months will be closely watched to determine the magnitude of any risk that the second half of 2016 is materially weaker for new home building than the first half of the year.”
Over the month, detached house sales increased in three of the five mainland states: Queensland (+5.2%); Western Australia (+5.0%); and Victoria (+1.1%). Sales declined in South Australia (-2.1%) and (just) in New South Wales (-0.1%).
During the December 2015 quarter detached house sales increased in Queensland (+4.3%) and NSW (+0.3%). Sales declined in WA (-15.4%), SA (-10.2%) and Victoria (-4.0%).
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