Australia’s new home sales fall

Sydney: New home sales in Australia posted a weak result in July, giving up much of the strength gained in late 2011-12, according to a report released Tuesday by the Housing Industry Association (HIA).

The HIA new home sales report showed a decline of 5.6 per cent in new home sales in July, following three consecutive months of rises, including an increase of 2.8 per cent in June, reported Xinhua.

The detached housing sector fell 5.5 per cent in July, following a rise of 0.7 per cent in June, while there was a 6.4 per cent drop in multi-unit market in the month.

HIA chief economist Harley Dale said new home building was still the weakest sector of the Australian economy, despite rate cuts from the Reserve Bank of Australia.

“Now is a good time to build a home – interest rates are lower, it’s a very competitive market, and there is less pressure on skilled labour availability,” he said.

“However, consistently weak consumer (and business) confidence is weighing very heavily on new housing investment, far more so than is the case for retail expenditure.”

Dale said weakness in the new housing would continue into the 2013 financial year.