Sales of new homes in the three months to February topped last year by 60%, as the Federal Government’s HomeBuilder program boosted demand for detached housing, says HIA’s economist Angela Lillicrap.

The HIA New Home Sales report – a monthly survey of the largest volume home builders in the five largest states – is a leading indicator of future home construction.

Lillicrap says HomeBuilder was the catalyst for improving consumer confidence in the housing market. A surge in sales was observed following the announcement of HomeBuilder in June 2020, which lead to strong sales through to the end of 2020.

“In December 2020, there was a near record volume of new home sales as households rushed to finalise contracts to build a new home before the end of the $25,000 grant,” she says. “The full impact of the extension of the HomeBuilder grant, at a value of $15,000, will not be observed until the end of March.”

The strongest surge in new home sales occurred in South Australia, up 150%, followed by Victoria (69%) and Queensland (60%).