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Australia December Newly Built Home Sales Fall 0.6%, HIA Says

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Feb. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Australian sales of newly built dwellings declined 0.6 percent in December, the second monthly drop, the Canberra-based Housing Industry Association said in a report released today.

“Indications yesterday from the Reserve Bank that we are in for a period of interest rate stability are welcome,” HIA Chief Economist Harley Dale said in an e-mailed statement. “Let’s hope they can stick to the script.”

The Reserve Bank of Australia kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 4.75 percent yesterday and said it will “look through” the near-term impact on growth and prices of flooding across the nation’s east coast.

Sales of detached homes gained 0.3 percent in December, while multi-unit sales dropped by 7.3 percent, the HIA said. New house sales fell by 4.4 percent last year, it said.

Related News and Information: Top economic stories {TOP ECO <GO>} Global economy monitor: {GEW <GO>} Benchmark interest-rate graph: {RBATCTR <Index> GP M ROLL <GO>}

To contact the reporter for this story: Michael Heath in Sydney at mheath1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephanie Phang in Singapore at sphang@bloomberg.net

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