Sales of new homes jumped to a two-and-a-half-year high, adding fuel to hopes a recovery is underway in the residential construction sector.
New Home sales grew by 7.5 per cent in November, according to figures released by the Housing Industry Association on Friday.
More than 7,000 new dwellings sold during the month, a level not seen since May 2011. It was the fastest monthly growth rate since January 2010, HIA said.
HIA chief economist Harley Dale said new home sales had been gradually improving since late 2012, which was a good sign for residential construction next year.
“Both new home sales and private sector building approvals increased strongly over the three months to November last year,” he said.
“We need to see upward momentum in these leading indicators continue throughout 2014.”
The Reserve Bank of Australia is counting on growth in residential construction in 2014 to help offset the effects on the economy of a decline in mining investment.
There have been other positive signs for the sector recently, with Australian Bureau of Statistics figures on Thursday showing a more than 22 per cent jump in building approvals in the 12 months to November.
The HIA figures showed a 30.5 per cent jump in sales of multi-unit dwellings – such as apartments – while sales of detached houses rose 3.6 per cent.
Detached house sales rose 19.1 per cent in South Australia, 8.1 per cent in New South Wales and 16 per cent in Queensland during the month.
But that was offset by a 2.3 per cent fall in sales in Victoria and a five per cent in Western Australia.