Australian housing approval levels have fallen again
More from: Australian housing market plunges
The Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed that the number of dwellings approved in the country was 1.2 per cent lower in March than in February.
Taking seasonal factors into account, the fall was 5.5 per cent. The poor start to 2013 follows a year of rising approvals in Australia.
Declines in permitted schemes in the heavily populated South-East of the country dragged the country into negative territory.
Dwelling approvals fell 3.7 per cent in New South Wales in March, 3.6 per cent in Victoria and 3.5 per cent in Tasmania.
Meanwhile there was a 2.4 per cent hike in approvals in Queensland, and minor rises in both Western Australia and South Australia.
Approvals for private sector houses rose 0.2 per cent in March.
The value of residential building fell 2.4 per cent while the smaller non-residential building sector rose 3.6 per cent.
This meant the value of building projects approved across all sectors of the industry was essentially flat in March, although the 0.1 per cent rise maintained the 14-month trend of increases.