[SYDNEY] Sales of new homes in Australia rose for a second straight month in November as a shift to high-rise living drove sales of apartments to their highest since 2003, an industry survey showed on Thursday.
The Housing Industry Association (HIA) said its survey of large volume builders showed sales of new homes climbed 2.2 per cent in November to a seven-month peak. That came on top of a 3 per cent increase in October, with sales of multi-units surging across both months. "The key leading indicator measures of building approvals and new home sales suggest this re-concentration of growth in the 'multi-unit' segment will persist into 2015," said Harley Dale, HIA chief economist.
Approvals to build new homes hit an all-time peak in November with apartment towers particularly strong. The boom in building is set to make an important contribution to economic growth as Australia's mining sector cools down.