Housing Construction Recovery Spreading to Weaker States: Report

Friday, May 2nd, 2014
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The recovery in home building activity in Australia is spreading to beyond New South Wales and Western Australia and is now benefiting Queensland, South Australia and Victoria, the latest report indicates.

Released by Housing Industry Association on Friday, the latest data indicates that the seasonally adjusted number of new homes sold throughout Australia edged up 0.2 percent in March off an already strong base to reach 7,501 – the highest level on record since June 2011.

On a quarterly basis, seasonally adjusted sales were up 5.8 percent, indicating broader momentum behind the latest data.

Moreover, the data provides further evidence that the home building recovery is spreading to previously weaker states.

In Queensland, where activity is being underpinned by a strong recovery in markets such as the Gold Coast, Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast, sales of detached housing surged by a whopping 20.2 percent during the quarter (seasonally adjusted).

With quarterly increases of 6.2 percent and 5.6 percent respectively, meanwhile, South Australia and Victoria are showing signs of momentum, whilst sales continued to surge in the red-hot market in Western Australia (up 6.6 percent) and edged up 0.8 percent in the already strong New South Wales.

The rise in South Australia is particularly encouraging as it came in spite of a pull-forward effect which saw a number of purchases brought forward late last year to take advantage of the Housing Construction Grant prior to its expiry in December.

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Housing Industry Association Economist Diwa Hopkins welcomed the latest figures, noting that recovery in weaker states signalled broader momentum whilst stronger states such as New South Wales and Western Australia continued to perform well.

“It’s encouraging to see that during the March 2014 quarter all of the surveyed states recorded increases in detached house sales” Hopkins said.

The latest data follows an earlier report indicating that land prices were starting to rise in some previously softer markets as a combination of stronger demand and supply-side constraints were leading toward upward pressure on the cost of vacant lots.

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