New home sales building in Queensland

Queensland is leading the nation in terms of new home sales, with the state the only one to record a “significant increase” over the past quarter.

The finding was contained in the HIA New Home Sales report – a monthly survey of the largest volume home builders in the five largest states.

Speaking of the overall national uplift in sales, HIA economist Angela Lillicrap said new home sales bounced back in September to “return to levels seen during the latter half of 2018”.

“Sales increased for the second consecutive month by 5.7 per cent,” Ms Lillicrap said.

“This improvement in sales is a welcome reprieve from the steady decline that emerged in late 2018.

“It remains too soon to confirm that we have passed the bottom of the cycle, but this result does highlight that we are not likely to see further material falls in new home sales.”

For the month, new home sales were up in all states except for NSW, which declined by 0.3 per cent for the month and 12.1 per cent for the quarter.

In Queensland, sales were up 1.7 per cent for the month of September, while the increases were even higher in Victoria (up 11 per cent), South Australia (18 per cent) and Western Australia (13.6 per cent).

But those increases were not enough to lift those states, with Ms Lillicrap revealing that national new home sales remained down by 1.5 per cent compared to the June quarter.

The only state to record a “significant increase” was Queensland, which recorded a 6.9 per cent increase in new home sales compared to the June quarter, according to the report.

“Going forward, moderate population growth, particularly from interstate migration, will sustain the underlying demand for new houses in Queensland,” the report said.

Ms Lillicrap said other policy factors would also help bolster new home sales in the future.

“The easing of APRA’s lending restrictions and the RBA’s rate cuts have started to have a positive impact on the new home market,” Ms Lillicrap said.

“With the addition of the Governments First Home Loan Deposit scheme likely to see an additional increase in first homebuyer activity, we expect that the improvement in new home sales will be sustained.”