SAO PAULO, Oct 18 (Reuters) - Home sales, launches and deliveries in Brazil rose in August for the first time in 13 months, an early sign that the effects of a harsh recession, a credit crunch and weak confidence among potential homebuyers are beginning to wane.
Project launches jumped 70 percent while sales were 1.4 percent higher in August on an annual basis, university research center Fipe and industry group Abrainc said in a joint statement on Tuesday. Deliveries climbed nearly 14 percent, even as cancellations rose 2.8 percent in the month from a year earlier.
While the results reflect an underlying improvement in macroeconomic conditions, it might be too early to assess whether demand for homebuilding is on the mend, Fipe and Abrainc said.
The supply of new homes at the end of August was enough to satisfy demand for another 13 months if no new projects were started, the report noted.
An index grouping Brazil's construction and real estate companies trading in the São Paulo Stock Exchange has gained almost 4 percent in the past three months, on hopes that a four-year-long industry downturn has finally touched rock bottom.
Updated monthly, the Abrainc-Fipe homebuilding activity indicator is a widely followed indicator of Brazil's housing market outlook. (Reporting by Guillermo Parra-Bernal, editing by G Crosse)