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Australia's residential sector returns to growth

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Australia’s home building market was more buoyant this January than in any month last year, official data has shown

The Australian Bureau of Statistics said the equivalent of 17,104 residential units were started in January 2014, allowing for seasonal variations and outliers.

This was 1 per cent higher than in the previous month, and a massive 28 per cent higher than in January 2013.

It also represented the 15th successive month of growth in residential construction as Australia powers out of the economic doldrums.

In the private sector, house starts were up 2 per cent, while other types of dwelling unit increased just 0.6 per cent.

The five largest states all saw increases in dwelling approvals.

South Australia led the way with 2.7 per cent growth in January, closely followed by Queensland with 2.6 per cent.

New South Wales saw starts grow 1.5 per cent, Victoria 1.4 per cent and Western Australia 0.7 per cent.

But there were decreases in Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory.

The value of total building work approved rose 1.4 per cent in January, marking two years of constant growth.

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