SYDNEY, March 4 (Xinhua) -- The number of dwellings approved in Australia fell 2.4 percent in January and has fallen for two months, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reported on Monday.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, a total of 12,920 dwelling units were approved in January, the ABS said.
Economists had generally expected a 2.8 percent rise in approvals for January.
Dwelling approvals fell in January in Queensland, South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales but increased in Tasmania and Western Australia in seasonally adjusted terms, the ABS said.
In the year to January, Australian building approvals were up 9. 9 percent.
The ABS said the latest building approvals data showed Australia's private sector new house segment was still weak in January.