New home sales fell by 7% across the nation for November.
Western Australia's lack of tradies is expected to keep a cap on growth in starts.
The state is also expected to remain out of cycle with the rest of the country.
New home sales have lifted in Western Australia, defying the national trend.
The Housing Industry Association (HIA) has released its latest New Home Sales report, a monthly survey of the largest volume home builders in the five largest states and is a leading indicator of future detached home construction.
Construction remains subdued across the nation
“Sales of new homes nationally have remained low throughout 2023 and this will see the volume of houses commencing construction continue to contract into 2024,” said HIA chief economist, Tim Reardon.
“The only exception to this low volume of sales is in Western Australia where it appears that house building will defy the efforts of the Reserve Bank,” added Reardon.
New home sales rise in WA
Following a trough earlier this year, the state has seen new home sales lift. Sales in the three months to the end of November were 49.1% higher than the same period last year.
New home sales, Western Australia
“The strength of sales in Western Australia is now flowing through to a modest rise in approvals. This is likely to see a steady flow of new home starts for Western Australia in 2024,” said Reardon.
Unfortunately, a dearth of skilled tradies in Western Australia will keep a cap on the growth in starts, added Reardon.
“This is a very unique outcome and will see Western Australia remain out of cycle with the rest of the country.”
Tim Reardon, HIA
Australia to see historically low new house starts
“Nationally, new home sales across Australia fell by 7.0% in the month of November and remain at low volumes as rising interest rates continue to constrain house building,” said Reardon.
“This will see the volume of homes commencing construction continue to contract in 2024 resulting in the lowest number of new house commencements since 2012,” concluded Reardon.
Queensland the only other state to record a rise in new home sales
Comparing the three months to November 2023 and the same period last year, new home sales dipped by 0.1%, according to HIA figures.
For the same comparison period, South Australia recorded a 26.1% fall in sales, Victoria recorded a 14.2% fall, and New South Wales recorded a 9.4% fall.
Queensland saw sales rise 6.3%, and Western Australia recorded the aforementioned 49.1% uplift in sales.