New home sales in Australia fell in July by the most in almost a decade.

Total sales fell 9.7 per cent in July, having risen 8.2 per cent in June, according to data from a Housing Industry Association survey of major builders that excludes sales in the Northern Territory, Tasmania and Australian Capital Territory.

Sales dropped across the board, and while the gauge comparing month-on-month moves does tend to be relatively volatile, the drop was the largest since May 2006. The fall isn’t entirely surprising, as data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed construction output falling more sharply than expected in the second quarter and marking a fourth consecutive drop.

The Reserve Bank of Australia cut its benchmark lending rate to a record low in early August to 1.5 per cent, the second cut this year, in the face of sluggish inflation.

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