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Recovery far off as land sales fall

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The recent fall in residential land sales suggest a full blown recovery is further away than first thought.

New statistics from RP Data and the Housing Industry Association (HIA) show the volume of land sales fell in the March 2010 quarter to a level 40 per cent lower than in March 2009.

Meanwhile, the weighted median land price for Australia held steady in the first quarter of 2010, for annual growth of 6.9 per cent.

“The renewed decline in the volume of land sales over the six months to March this year is consistent with mounting concern over the sustainability of the recovery in new residential construction,” said HIA chief economist Harley Dale.

“The prospect of new home starts heading down again next year reinforces the need to keep interest rates on hold throughout the remainder of 2010. It also reinforces the compelling case for urgent action in ensuring adequate, affordable land supply, including addressing the restriction of finance for residential development which is severely handicapping new home building activity.”

Sydney remains the most expensive residential land market in the nation with a median price of $305,000.

Outside the capital cities, the Sunshine Coast in Queensland remains the most expensive land market with a median price of $260,000.

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