NSW saw a fall of 19.7 per cent, Queensland was down 10 per cent, and South Australia was down 5.8 per cent. WA was the only mainland state with an increase in new home sales, where sales rose 4 per cent off the back of a large dip in February.
Victoria’s fall in new home sales comes after a very strong month in February, with 17.9 per cent growth.
HIA’s Executive Director (Acting) for Victoria, Mr Robert Harding, said that leading economic indicators and feedback from builders signalled a slowing market.
“Anecdotal reports from HIA members suggests that whilst inquiries are holding up, the signing of contracts has slowed,” Mr Harding said.
“Building Approvals dipped from November last year and this is a leading indicator that new home starts will fall.”
Mr Harding said that the undersupply of housing was helping to maintain demand.
“We’ve been building too few homes in recent years, so there is an element of ‘catch-up’,” Mr Harding said.
“The market is currently extremely fragile and a further interest rate rise would adversely affect the ability to put downward pressure on house prices and rents.”
HIA’s New Home Sales Survey is compiled from a sample of the largest 100 residential builders in Australia.