Across much of Australia, information surrounding house prices and sales continue to be conflicting. Recently released figures show that house prices across the nation increased marginally by 0.9 per cent, according to data from Australian Property Monitors. While the increase is slight, it is nonetheless significant, as it marks the second consecutive quarter of growth after a full 15 months of falls.
The big winner was Sydney, which saw median unit prices rise by 2.5 per cent. In terms of housing price increases, all capital cities saw a rise, with the exception of Brisbane and Adelaide. Many industry analysts agree that the news is positive, but certainly not a signal of an upcoming housing boom, as evidenced by the worst dive in new home sales in almost 20 years.
Following a promising three per cent rise in February, sales of new homes plummeted 9.4 per cent in March to 5,443 homes nationwide, according to figures from the Housing Industry Association. Across Australia, unit sales dipped 6.9 per cent. The worst performer was Queensland, where housing sales fell 15.3 per cent in March, followed by Western Australia's 12 per cent drop. In New South Wales (seasonally adjusted) new house sales fell 9.7 per cent, while Victoria experienced a 4.6 per cent decrease. The declining figures for new home sales reached their lowest point since May of 1994.
Factors for the slowing sales of new homes include inflation, the global financial crisis, a decrease in consumer confidence, and house prices simply being too far out of reach for many potential buyers.