Sales of new homes in February remain low - HIA
NEW HOME SALES in the three months to February were 46.8 percent lower than at the same time the previous year.
That is the advice of Housing Industry Association of Australia (HIA) chief economist, Tim Reardon, based on the latest HIA New Home Sales report – a monthly survey of the largest volume home builders in the five largest states – as a leading indicator of future detached home construction.
“Sales in the month of February rose by 14.3 percent compared with the previous month but remain exceptionally low,” Mr Reardon said.
“Sales of new homes stalled late in 2022 as the adverse impact of the RBA’s rate increases continue to erode market confidence.
“When the cash rate started to rise in May 2022 there was a very large pool of work to commence construction. This pool of work yet to commence is shrinking quickly as new sales remain very low and the number of new projects entering the pipeline falls," he said.
“Tighter access to finance and a higher cash rate is seeing many new home buyers withdraw from the market. Customers that received approval to build a new home early in 2022 are cancelling these projects as the cost-of-living bites and banks withdraw financing.
“Without an improvement in access to finance, or a lowering of rates, the number of new homes commencing construction will slow later this year.
“The RBA isn’t going to return the economy to stability by putting the building industry through boom-and-bust cycles,” Mr Reardon said.
For the three months to February 2023, compared with the same period the previous year, new home sales in New South Wales were down by 76.6 percent, followed by Queensland (-51.2 percent), Victoria (-42.3 percent), Western Australia (-14.8 percent) and South Australia (-6.0 percent).