New property sales 'rise for third successive month'

Sales of new property in Australia rose for the third consecutive month in March, recent figures reveal.

Data from the Housing Industry Association (HIA) showed that there was a 4.3 per cent rise in the number of people taking out home loans to purchase new-build abodes, reports the Australian Associated Press.

However, the HIA warned that a longer period of "sustained growth" would be needed before it could "look ahead to healthy levels of residential building activity".

Indeed, figures indicated that despite a month-on-month increase in the number of new properties acquired, the figures for the first quarter of 2011 showed a nine per cent decline compared to the data from the same period the year before.

"The increase is exaggerated by a weak starting point in the final quarter of 2010 and volumes remain below the long-term average," the HIA stated.

Figures from CommSec revealed that there was a 4.6 per cent drop in the amount of money secured by home loans applicants in February compared to the preceding month.

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