The HIA says new home sales fell 5.7 per cent in 2017. Image: AAP/David Mariuz.The HIA’s latest monthly survey of the country’s biggest home builders has found the largest fall in new house sales in 2017 occurred in New South Wales (-14.5 per cent), followed closely by Queensland (-14.1 per cent).Victoria was the only state to experience in increase in the sale of new houses (+5.8 per cent).More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus22 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market22 hours agoHIA senior economist Shane Garrett renewed calls for stamp duty reforms as he said the tax was compounding the housing affordability crisis, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne. HOTTEST RENT SPOTS REVEALED The HIA has reported a drop in new home sales in 2017. Photographer: Liam Kidston.AUSTRALIA’S peak building industry body has slammed stamp duty costs for a drop in new home sales in 2017.The Housing Industry Association says the burden of housing taxes such as stamp duty squeezed homebuyers last year, contributing to a 5.7 per cent fall in the sales of detached houses. GET THE LATEST REAL ESTATE NEWS DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX HERE HIA senior economist Shane Garrett.“The burden of housing taxes, particularly stamp duty, grew much heavier during 2017 — homebuyers are really being squeezed.“Residential building activity contributes at least $103 billion annually to the economy. Construction employs over 1 million Australians. The persistent rise in the tax burden places this at risk. FOR SALE: AUSTRALIA’S BEST BACKYARD WATERSLIDE “The relentless increase in stamp duty is largely to blame. In Victoria, the typical stamp duty charge has surpassed $31,000 while homebuyers in NSW are faced with bills in excess of $25,000. “Stamp duty bills have been sky rocketing for decades — in some cases by over 4,000 per cent since the early 1980s.”The amount of stamp duty paid by homebuyers across Australia almost doubled in the past four years to $20.6 billion, according to a recent HIA report. The HIA is blaming stamp duty costs for a drop in new home sales. Image: AAP/Brendan Esposito.