The December quarter saw a 13 per cent upswing in residential land sales, according to the latest HIA-RP Data Resedential Land Report.

Produced by the Housing Industry Association (HIA) in conjunction with RP Data, the report documented the 13.6 per cent swing after a dismal September 2012 quarter, which saw sale rates fall by 20 per cent.

HIA’s Chief Economist, Harley Dale, said that while it is a welcome reprieve from the continuing drop, the results do not reflect a broad based sectory wide recovery.

“There has recently been a further tightening in credit conditions for residential development. At the same time the excessive and inefficient taxes levied on new housing, much of which is embedded in serviceable land costs, is continuing largely unabated,” Dr Dale said.

According to RP Data’s research director Tim Lawless, the increase in land sales over the final quarter of 2012 is an encouraging sign, however we are yet to see a trend of consistent recovery emerge in the number of land sales.

“The broader housing market has seen a strong start to the year in 2013, with dwelling values rising 2.8% over the first three months of the year,” Mr Lawless said.

“While land sales remain historically low, the median sale price for vacant land across the capital cities and nationally is at a record high.”