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Australia sees drop in new housing schemes

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Australia has seen its first fall in new housing schemes for more than a year – but there was a surge in major projects on existing homes

The Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed that 13,179 dwelling units were approved in February 2013.

This was down by 0.6 per cent from the previous month, making it the first time since January 2012 that approvals fell month-on-month.

However, taking seasonal factors into account, the February 2013 figure marked a 3.1 per cent hike from the previous month – and a 12.8 per cent hike from February 2012.

South Australia was the growth state in February, with a 23 per cent seasonally adjusted hike in dwelling approvals.

Western Australia saw a 5 per cent rise; Queensland 4 per cent.

Victoria’s dwelling approvals were effectively flat, while New South Wales’ were down 8 per cent and Tasmania’s down 6 per cent.

Meanwhile there was a massive spike in the seasonally adjusted value of alterations and additions to residential buildings. This grew from about A$500m in January to almost A$700m in February.

The estimated value of total building work approved Down Under rose 0.1 per cent in February, making it 13 consecutive months of rising value.

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