Although new home sales fell back in the month of February (down 5.6 per cent), this followed strong two months over which sales volumes increased by 24 per cent.
Looking at the three months to February 2009, sales were up by 20 per cent. This is 1 per cent higher than for the same period last year, and largely thanks to the surge of first home buyers entering the market.
“Victoria really took a ‘breather’ in sales in February, but over the three months to February, Victoria still had the strongest result of all the states,” said HIA Victorian Executive Director Gil King.
“It reinforces anecdotal evidence that the tripled First Home Owner’s Grant for new homes and additional state-based incentives have had an enormously positive impact on the new home building market in Victoria.”
Nationally, total new home sales increased by 3.9 per cent in February 2009. National detached home sales increased by 4.7 per cent in the month and were up by 8 per cent over the three months to February.
Mr King said while it was great to see first home buyers breaking into the market, investors were in short supply. “The shortage of housing stock is placing increasing pressure on private renters and will continue to get worse unless mum and dad investors are attracted back into the market,” Mr King said.
For the month of February detached New Home Sales increased by 21.7 per cent in Queensland, 11.1 per cent in New South Wales and 4.2 per cent in Western Australia. Sales fell by 3.9 per cent in South Australia after a jump of 25 per cent in January. Detached home sales were up over the three months to February 2009 in New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia.