New home sales increased by 6.2% seasonally adjusted nationally in December 2012.
The year ended strongly as December sales increased for the third consecutive month, according to the Housing Industry Association (HIA).
The HIA has released its new home sales report surveying Australia's largest builders. The December quarter showed an uptick of 3.3% in new home sales, although the figure was down 12.7% on the same quarter 2011.
“The promising headline rise last December was driven by both detached house and multi-unit sales,” says HIA economist Geordan Murray.
“Furthermore, if we look at the under-performing market for 2012 – detached houses – the December improvement was broad-based as sales increased in all but one of the surveyed states.
“However, the overall result for 2012 leaves plenty of room for improvement.
"Detached house sales were weak throughout the year and compared with 2011 were down by 22.7%,” says Murray.
“On the other hand, multi-units sales were the star performer of 2012."
Multi-unit sales recovered from the record lows endured in 2011 and increased by 24.1% over 2012.”
“It is hoped that further signs of an impending new home building recovery emerge in coming months. However, it remains the case that lower interest rates alone will not deliver a recovery of the magnitude required by Australia’s economy and population,” says Murray.
Detached house sales in December and the December quarter:
New South Wales: (Dec) +7.1% (Dec Qtr) +14.4%
Victoria: (Dec) +6.0% (Dec Qtr) -8.4%
Queensland: (Dec) +3.8% (Dec Qtr) -5.5%
Western Australia: (Dec) +12.2% (Dec Qtr) +2.5%
South Australia: (Dec) -1.8% (Dec Qtr) +9.3%