The HIA New Home Sales Report released by Housing Industry Association indicates a good start for the new home building sector in the new year. The HIA New Home Sales Report is a survey of Australia’s largest volume builders.

HIA Chief Economist Harley Dale explains that total seasonally adjusted new home sales posted a modest increase of 1.8 per cent in January 2015, adding that the headline result is consistent with further growth in new home construction in 2014/15, following a very strong year in 2013/14.

Describing the new housing sector as the star of Australia’s domestic economy, Dale notes that the strength to national new home building masks large differences across states and territories as well as dwelling types.

According to Dale, the January new home sales result reflected a 9.9 per cent rise in ‘multi-unit’ sales but only a 0.1 per cent increase in detached house sales. On a state basis, detached house sales appear to have peaked in New South Wales and Western Australia; Victoria and Queensland are displaying a modest upward trend; and South Australia is continuing a year-long downward trend, suggesting that in the short term at least new housing conditions in this market will remain the weakest of the five mainland states.

In January 2015 detached house sales increased by 1.2 per cent in New South Wales, 2.7 per cent in Victoria, and 5.6 per cent in South Australia. Detached house sales declined by 1.5 per cent in Queensland and 4.0 per cent in Western Australia. During the three months to January 2015, sales increased by 5.5 per cent in Victoria, 15.9 per cent in Queensland, and 1.7 per cent in Western Australia. Meanwhile, sales declined by 11.3 per cent in New South Wales and 3.6 per cent in South Australia.