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Australian dwelling starts down 6.9 pct in Q4, 2011

03-14-2012 14:26 BJT

SYDNEY, March 14 (Xinhua) -- The total number of dwelling units commenced in Australia fell 6.9 % in the December quarter, 2011, following a fall of 5.8% in the September quarter, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reported on Wednesday.

The ABS data showed that Australia's dwelling commencements were down to 33,653 units in December quarter, from 36,163 units in the September quarter.

It was the third consecutive quarterly decline in dwelling commencements, while over the year to December, the total number of dwelling commenced fell by 13.4%.

Economists said the fall in dwelling commencements in the December quarter reflected an ongoing slow housing sector.

"Judging from the building approvals data for January, the softness in dwelling starts is likely to continue into 2012, although perhaps not to the same extent," said economist Tom Kennedy from investment bank JP Morgan.

However, Commonwealth Bank senior economist Michael Workman said that growing demand driven by household income growth, population increase and under-building of dwellings could lead to a slow recovery in dwelling commencements.

"In the past, this mix of factors has produced a gradual lift in dwelling construction," he said.

Editor:Wang Lingfei |Source: Xinhua

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