PHOTO: The total number of new homes commenced during the September quarter declined by 11.7

Confidence returned to the housing market in the second half of 2019, but the latest figures revealed new home construction is on the decline.

The final Australian Bureau of Statistics numbers for the September quarter saw a significant fall in activity in New South Wales, down by nearly 20 per cent, followed by the Northern Territory, down by 18.5 per cent, and Western Australia, down by 14.8 per cent.

The only areas that saw an increase were Queensland, up by 3 per cent, and South Australia, with a rise of 1.9 per cent.

The Housing Industry Association (HIA) believes ground broken in the September quarter for new homes were likely to have been purchased at the start of 2019 when market confidence was low.