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(Australian Associated Press)
Housing construction activity is growing at its fastest pace in more than three years, with stamp duty cuts believed to have fuelled the surge.
Building across all sectors – houses, apartments, commercial and engineering – grew at a record pace in July, according to the Performance of Construction Index (PCI) released this week.
The growth was largely driven by commercial construction and house building.
House building activity rose by 3.4 points to 62.4 points, which was the steepest growth in 42 months, fuelled by stronger demand and an upswing in new orders.
Some home builders said stamp duty cuts in NSW and Victoria, which came into effect at the start of July, boosted first home buyer activity.
The Ai Group and Housing Industry Association PCI report takes into account factors such as activity, orders, deliveries and employment.
Apartment building activity returned to modest growth, up 4.3 points to 52.6 points.
“The housing industry has been cooling from record highs in 2016 but there remains a significant amount of work in the pipeline,” HIA principal economist Tim Reardon said.
Meanwhile, home values in Melbourne grew by 1.8 per cent in the month to August 6, almost five times the speed of growth in Sydney, at 0.5 per cent.
Home values in Adelaide also lifted 1.3 per cent over the month, while Brisbane and Perth both weakened one per cent and 0.6 per cent respectively.
On the auction front, Sydney recovered after posting its worst clearance rate of the year last week.
Some 71.5 per cent of properties that went under the hammer in Sydney sold in the week to August 6, compared with 65.4 per cent the week prior.
The national average clearance rate for the week was 71.5 per cent, which was one per cent higher than at the same time last year.
CAPITAL CITY PRIVATE TREATY MEDIAN PRICES
Sydney – $880,00
Melbourne – $660,500
Canberra – $652,000
Brisbane – $525,000
Darwin – $509,500
Perth – $490,000
Adelaide – $430,000
Hobart – $352,500
Combined capitals – $649,158
Sydney – $695,000
Melbourne – $515,000
Canberra – $402,000
Darwin – $400,000
Perth – $395,000
Brisbane – $378,250
Hobart – $325,000
Adelaide – $299,250
Combined capitals – $559,226
Source: CoreLogic Property Market Indicator Summary week ending August 6, 2017.