30/01/2014 - 13:42

WA home sales up 11 per cent in 2013

30/01/2014 - 13:42

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New home sales in Western Australia increased by 11 per cent in 2013 but housing experts say construction levels still haven't caught up with pent-up demand.

WA home sales up 11 per cent in 2013

New home sales in Western Australia increased by 11 per cent in 2013 but housing experts say construction levels still haven't caught up with demand.

The Housing Industry Association's latest figures reveal private house sales in WA increased by 7.3 per cent during the month of December to 1,401, in what was the strongest month of sales for the state since April.

The volume of sales increased by 2.3 per cent for the quarter, weighed down by a soft month of sales in November.

HIA economist Diwa Hopkins said while the stronger December monthly figures were a welcome result, they completed a year in which sales had tracked sideways in the state.

"We have previously noted just how protacted an affair underbuilding in WA has been (2008-2012 in particular), which highlights the need for a second round recovery in new home building in order to catch up to the pent up demand," she said.

"Obviously we'd be looking for clearer signals from leading indicators such as detached house sales and detached house building approvals that this much-needed further growth in actual construction activity will occur."

In the three months to November, detached house approvals declined by 2.8 per cent, signalling the sector appears to have lost some of the momentum that was evident earlier in the year.

The new figures come amid reports the Real Estate Institute of WA has tipped the state's median house price to reach a record $570,000 this year.

Across Australia, new home sales reached their highest point since mid-2011 during December, according to the HIA.

Sales across the nation recorded their first annual increase in five years with a 14.4 per cent gain.

Addressingly excessive taxation and land release delays would provide a much-needed boost to residential construction levels, the HIA said.

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