New home sales spike nationwide
The Australian residential property market finished 2012 on solid ground, with the latest figures showing new home sales are steadily increasing.
According to the Housing Industry Association's (HIA) New Home Sales report, the number of new properties sold in December increased 6.2 per cent - the third consecutive monthly rise.
HIA economist Geordan Murray said the recent data was an encouraging sign for the housing sector.
"The promising headline rise last December was driven by both detached house and multi-unit sales," Mr Murray explained.
"Furthermore, if we look at the underperforming market for 2012 - detached houses - the December improvement was broad-based as sales increased in all but one of the surveyed states."
Western Australia recorded the biggest spike in new home sales, with a 12.2 per cent surge in December, followed by a 7.1 per cent lift in New South Wales and a 3.8 per cent increase in Queensland.
Mr Murray said while the figures show the industry is moving in the right direction, there is still significant room for improvement, with detached sales remaining relatively weak over the last 12 months.