May 29, 2014 / 1:01 AM / in 3 years

Australia April new home sales rise 2.9 pct - industry

SYDNEY, May 29 (Reuters) - Sales of new homes in Australia rose for a fourth straight month in April, underscoring a pick-up in the housing sector and a positive sign for broader economic activity, an industry survey showed on Thursday.

The Housing Industry Association (HIA) said its survey of large builders showed sales of private sector new homes rose 2.9 percent in April from March. Sales were up 6.0 percent over the three months to April.

Multi-unit sales climbed 9.3 percent in April, while detached house sales rose 1.8 percent to post its sixth consecutive monthly increase.

Record-low interest rates have led to a marked pickup in home prices and clearance rates at auctions, while approvals to build new homes are trending sharply higher. (Reporting by Ian Chua; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

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