Housing starts have fallen to the lowest level since the global financial crisis, new Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show.
The pace of decline in residential construction accelerated in the final quarter of 2011, led by a 21% drop in Queensland.
December quarter dwelling commencements fell 13.4% on 2010 levels to a seasonally-adjusted 33,653. It is more than double the 5.8% quarter-on-quarter decline recorded in September, 2011.
In the December quarter, housing starts fell 2.7% to 21,845 following a fall of 1.7% in the September quarter, while unit starts fell by 13.9% to 10,739 following a fall of 10.7% in September.
Victoria experienced a 7.8% fall in new dwellings while South Australia, WA, NT and the ACT experienced smaller drops. NSW and Tasmania recorded small increases.
On an annual basis, housing starts were 13.4% lower than the same time in 2010, according to Business Spectator.