New home sales were flat in September, weighed down by a 2.3 per cent fall in the sale of detached houses.
However sales of apartments and semi detached houses rose 11 per cent in the month, and were up 8.7 per cent in the September quarter, the Housing Industry Association (HIA) said on Thursday.
HIA chief economist Harley Dale said the strong result shows that the multi-unit dwelling category is bouncing back from a slump a few months ago.
“The overall profile for new home sales is consistent with a healthy year for dwelling construction in 2014/15,” he said.
“It would be desirable to see that outcome in detached and low density construction in addition to the high rise sector.”
Preliminary figures from the RP Data Core Logic home value index, also released on Thursday, showed that housing prices rose strongly in October after stalling in September.
In the first 29 days of the month, prices in the mainland state capitals were up by an average of 1.2 per cent, after a tiny rise of just 0.1 per cent in September.
RP Data’s national research director Tim Lawless said early indications were that price gains in Sydney and Melbourne could be more than one per cent in October.
“As we move into the third month of spring, the housing market remains relatively strong. However, despite the strong monthly result, the annual trend in capital gains has been moderating since a recent peak in April earlier this year,” Mr Lawless said.