New South Wales has surged up a league table ranking housing construction markets in Australia, while Western Australia continues to lead and some weaker states start to recover ground, according to the latest scorecard measuring residential relative conditions in residential building.

Published by the Housing Industry Association, the bi-annual HIA Housing Scorecard measures ranks the performance of each state and territory over the past quarter on 14 criteria including detached house building, multi-dwelling building, renovations, construction labour force, housing finance and turnover of established homes.

The scorecard assigns each state a score of one to eight for each criterion, with one representing the worst performing state and eight representing the top performing state.

While Western Australia continues to lead the way with an overall score of 82, New South Wales jumped from fifth spot to second after recording a top-three performance in all but four criteria.

The Australian Capital Territory, Victoria and Northern Territory remain clustered in the middle, while the improving South Australia and Queensland remain a little off the pace. Tasmania ranked well back of the other states, recording either the worst or second worst performance in no fewer than eight criteria.

Western Australia leads the way in terms of numbers of housing loans to first-home buyers, new detached housing under construction and established home and multi-unit sales.

Victoria leads on renovations activity and housing finance to existing buyers, the Northern Territory leads on employment size and hours worked as well as new homes under construction (multi-unit), the ACT leads on new home approvals (detached and multi-unit) and New South Wales leads on new home commencements (multi-units).

HIA chief economist Harley Dale said the latest report underscores the extent of the housing recovery in New South Wales, much of which he said can be attributed to strength in the multi-unit sector in Sydney.

“The rapid turn of fortunes in NSW is the big story in this report,” Dale said. “Six months ago we noted there was momentum building in NSW and this has been confirmed by the latest analysis.”

“NSW is now the second strongest residential building market in the country, having been ranked number five only six months earlier.”

At the other end of the scale, Dale said there have been some signs of improving conditions in the Tasmanian economy, but there was no sign yet of this flowing through to the residential sector in that state.

The latest report follows HIA’s earlier Population and Residential Building Hotspots report, which showed that the Australian Capital Territory had held the three hottest markets in terms of population growth in 2012/13.