New home sales up in March

According to the Housing Industry Association , although the overall housing market is still quite weak there seems to be some improvement in the number of new home sales generated in March 2010.

New home sales numbers increased by 4.3 per cent in March, following a 0.6 per cent gain in February. Detached homes sales also went up by 5.8 per cent in March.

Multi-unit sales declined by a further 10 per cent in March, following a drop of 7.6 per cent  in February.

According to data provided by the HIA, the number of new home sales went up from more than 9000 properties in February to about 10,500 in March.

The good news about some growth in new home sales comes as the general pace of housing activity has slowed during the first few months of 2011. The weighted average home price in eight capital cities fell 1.7 per cent in the March quarter, compared with the previous three months, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported this week, marking the biggest fall since the September quarter of 2008 during the financial crisis.

Auction clearance rates, which have tracked home prices closely since 2004, have dropped in the new year. The rates are now as low as 50 per cent in Sydney and Melbourne, down from highs of 80 per cent seen in 2010.

Potential home buyers can breathe a sigh of relief with RBA deciding to leave the cash rate at current levels for another month.

New house sales rose 13.5 per cent in New South Wales, 11.1 per cent in Queensland but only 3.6 per cent in Victoria. In Western Australia, they advanced 3.1 per cent while in South Australia they sank 6.4 per cent.

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