“Sales of new detached homes in the first three months remain exceptionally strong with the second strongest start to the year since 2016, eclipsed only by last year,” stated HIA Economist Tom Devitt.
The HIA New Home Sales report – a monthly survey of the largest volume home builders in the five largest states – is a leading indicator of future detached home construction.
“New home sales increased by 3.9 per cent in March 2022 compared to the previous month. This leaves sales for the first three months of the year lower by 2.8 per cent compared to the previous quarter,” added Mr Devitt.
“Excluding the period associated with the HomeBuilder stimulus, this is the second strongest quarter since 2016.
“Despite a difficult start to the year, with staff absences associated with the Omicron outbreak and extended holiday leave, new home sales continue to sustain levels usually associated with government stimulus.
“Demand for new homes continues to be driven by a shortage of homes and an acutely tight rental market that has resulted in rapid house price and rental price growth.
“Tighter lending conditions have had minimal impact on the market to date. With rental vacancies at close to zero demand for new homes will continue and an increase in the cash rate is likely to be the turning point for a slowing in demand.” concluded Mr Devitt.
On a quarterly basis, sales in New South Wales increased in the three months to March 2022 to be 78.5 per cent higher than the equivalent quarter in 2019, before the pandemic. This was followed by Queensland (+33.3 per cent), Victoria (+19.1 per cent) and Western Australia (+15.4 per cent). South Australia saw the only decline over the period, down by 4.6 per cent.