By James Glynn

SYDNEY--The number of Australian home building permits fell 12.6% in October from September, led by a sharp decline in approvals for apartments, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said Wednesday.

Permits to build new apartment blocks fell by 24.8% in October from a month earlier, the biggest monthly fall in a year.

Approvals to build or renovate houses and apartments declined 24.9% from a year earlier. In September approvals fell by 9.3%.

Housing construction has been running at record levels led by an apartment-building boom, especially in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.

But affordability is beginning to be stretched and oversupply in key parts of the housing market is growing,prompting some economists to forecast a slowdown next year.

Permits to build houses fell 3.4% from a month earlier, the ABS said.

The Housing Industry Association earlier this week confirmed the slowdown. It said new home sales dropped 8.5% in October, the lowest recorded since July 2014. Detached house sales were down by 8.2% during the month, while multi-unit sales fell 9.2%.

-Write to James Glynn at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 29, 2016 19:58 ET (00:58 GMT)

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