A decline has been seen in Australia’s new home sales for the first time this year.
The Housing Industry Association (HIA) figures showed sales of new dwellings dropped by 2.3% in May.  They said the result was mainly driven by a 5.1% drop in sales for detached homes.
HIA also said in its report that sales for both apartments and townhouses continued to grow strongly, by 7.6% in the month and 26.7% in the past three months.
“The multi-unit sector, driven by apartment sales ... did mitigate the overall decline in new home sales that was driven by detached housing,” HIA chief economist Harley Dale was quoted as saying by ABC News.
“These are two markets where we talk a lot about the medium/high density apartment construction that's being undertaken in Sydney and in Melbourne. We're also seeing a lot of semi-detached townhouse-type product.”
Dale added that Australia’s three years of healthy growth in housing construction should be starting to have an impact on affordability.
"These sorts of numbers are starting to make a dent in what was a very long-term decline in new home building activity that was primarily reflective of a very weak NSW market. That state under-built for the better part of a decade," he said.
"We've got another 12, 18 months of very healthy building ahead of us for NSW if we are to try and restore some kind of balance to that considerable undersupply that built up over a very long period of time."

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