Australia new homes sales fall in April: Industry survey

SYDNEY: Sales of new homes in Australia fell in April after a surprisingly strong surge the previous month, an industry survey showed on Monday, an outcome that still pointed to healthy home construction.

The Housing Industry Association (HIA) said its survey of large-volume builders showed new home sales fell a seasonally adjusted 4.7 percent in April, down from March when they jumped 8.9 percent.

“The trend in new home sales reiterates that the peak for the cycle has passed, but the descent we’re now observing is very mild,” said HIA Economist Diwa Hopkins.

“This signals the potential for very healthy home construction activity throughout 2016, much as we have been anticipating,” Hopkins said.

Sales of detached homes declined by 3.0 percent, while sales in the volatile multi-unit sector dropped 10.8 percent.

“Our forecasts reflect an expectation that a modest decline in new home building in 2016 will be largely driven by a decline in multi-unit construction, following the successive record levels that occurred in 2015 and 2014,” Hopkins said.

(Reporting by Ian Chua; Editing by Paul Tait)

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