Sales of new homes have increased, but remain well below the historical average, a new report has found.
According to the latest HIA - JELD-WEN New Home Sales Report, the number of new homes sold increased by 4.3 per cent in March 2011 due to a 5.8 per cent lift in detached house sales.
Sales of multi-units turned in a disappointing result, falling by 10 per cent following a 7.6 per cent decline in February.
HIA chief economist Harley Dale said that a lift in detached house sales in March was positive news, but there was a long way to go for new home sales to reach healthy levels again.
“The volume of new home sales remains subdued, within which the stronger result for March is certainly a welcome outcome. The March result for new home sales reflects an on-going pause in the interest rate hiking cycle and some abatement of the severe weather conditions witnessed in early 2011,” he said.
"A sustained period of improvement is required for new home sales and a raft of other leading indicators before we can look ahead to healthy levels of residential building activity
“On-going interest rate stability in 2011 and renewed commitment from the Federal Government in next week’s budget to tackling the inequitably high cost of new housing would certainly be helpful.”