The total value of mortgage lending in Australia fell by more than 2 per cent in January, official figures have revealed.
More from: Australia sees drop in new housing schemes
Data published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics this week showed that Aus$20,808million of home loans were handed out in January 2012.
This was down a seasonally adjusted 2.3 per cent from the previous month, with finance handed out for new homes down 6.0 per cent.
It comes as a fresh blow for the stuttering Australian built environment recovery.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said in February that weak labour force data and consumer confidence was keeping demand for housing low.
Meanwhile data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed building approvals fell in December 2011.