NEW home sales in Australia posted their first annual increase in five years in 2013, according to the Housing Industry of Australia.
"New home sales hit a low ebb during 2012," HIA economist Diwa Hopkins said.
"However, a strong recovery took place in 2013 with sales recording their first annual increase in five years.
"The key now will be for these improved sales levels to expand further in the year ahead."
During the final quarter of 2013 aggregate new home sales increased 6.3 per cent to hit a level not reached since mid-2011.
In the month of December alone, the HIA new home sales report showed that total seasonally adjusted new home sales eased by 0.4 per cent.
The aggregate decline was driven by a 6.6 per cent decrease in multi-unit sales while detached house sales increased by 0.9 per cent.
"During 2013 as a whole, new home sales rose by 14.4 per cent, representing the first year of growth since 2008," Ms Hopkins said.
"Total new home sales were largely unchanged in the month of December, however, the broader trend shows a healthy profile of recovery throughout 2013 and the underlying details are also fairly encouraging."
Ms Hopkins said the aggregate monthly decline was due to an unsurprising pull-back in multi-unit sales, following the previous month’s very strong result.
"Looking at detached house sales, the growth in this segment has broadened in its reach, with four out of the five surveyed states showing monthly and quarterly increases in December 2013," she said.
In December, private detached house sales increased by 22.5 per cent in South Australia, 7.3 per cent in Western Australia, 5.8 per cent in NSW and 1.5 per cent in Queensland. Detached house sales fell by 13.4 per cent in Victoria.
In the final quarter of 2013, detached house sales increased by 50.9 per cent in South Australia. They also rose by 12.3 per cent in Queensland, 3.5 per cent in NSW and 2.3 per cent in Western Australia. In Victoria, detached house sales fell by 9.5 per cent in the quarter.
Story: Mitchell Neems Source: www.theaustralian.com.au