[SYDNEY] Sales of new homes in Australia edged lower in January after strong growth late last year, an industry survey showed on Tuesday.
The Housing Industry Association (HIA) said its survey of large-volume builders showed new home sales declined 2.2 per cent in January on a seasonally adjusted basis from December, when they rose 0.2 per cent.
Sales of houses dipped 1.5 per cent, while apartment sales slipped 4.3 per cent.
While the new year started on a softer note, HIA Chief economist Harley Dale said the outlook was still strong.
"Given that Australia is tailing off from the largest and longest new home building cycle in history, both the total and sub-component profiles for new home sales are still in very good shape," said HIA Chief Economist Harley Dale.
"There aren't many sectors punching above their weight in the nation's economy right now, so the profile for new home sales is also good news for Australia as a whole."