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Australia new homes sales dip 2.3% in May: HIA

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Sales of new homes in Australia dipped in May to break a four-month run of gains, though sales of multi-units hit record highs amid an ongoing switch to high-rise living.

[SYDNEY] Sales of new homes in Australia dipped in May to break a four-month run of gains, though sales of multi-units hit record highs amid an ongoing switch to high-rise living.

The Housing Industry Association (HIA) said its survey of large volume builders showed sales of new homes fell a seasonally adjusted 2.3 per cent in May, from April.

Sales of detached homes fell back by 5.1 per cent in the month, offsetting a 7.6 per cent jump in multi-units. For the three months to May, multi-unit sales were up a hefty 26.7 per cent. "This is a softer result at face value, but delving beneath the surface reveals an aggregate profile of healthy new home building conditions in 2015," said HIA chief economist, Harley Dale.

Australia is in the midst of a boom in home building thanks to historically low mortgage rates and rapid population growth, with the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) cutting its rates to a record low of 2.0 per cent early in May.

REUTERS

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