Data released last week by the Housing Industry Association showed new home sales in Western Australia fell 24.5 per cent during July – the largest fall of all the states. New South Wales posted an 11.7 per cent fall, South Australia was down 11.2 per cent and Victoria declined 7.2 per cent. Queensland managed to buck the trend, with sales rising (by 13.4 per cent) for the first time in six months. In a statement, the HIA said the decline in residential construction activity highlighted the absolute need for the Reserve Bank of Australia to lower interest rates.“There can be no further delay in respect to a drop in the official cash rate,” the HIA said.“The weak result reflects a final bout of mortgage rate increases clashing with sharply higher fuel and food bills.” New home sales were down 7.2 per cent nationally. The survey was compiled from a sample of the 100 largest residential builders in Australia.