The total number of building permits issued Australia plummeted a seasonally adjusted 15.3 percent on month in January, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Tuesday - coming in at 13,016.
That badly missed expectations for an increase of 1.0 percent following the 3.9 percent gain in December.
On a yearly basis, approvals sank 11.3 percent - again missing expectations for an increase of 1.9 percent after climbing 7.2 percent in the previous month.
Approvals for private sector houses added 0.3 percent on month but fell 8.8 percent on year at 8,610. Approvals for private sector dwellings excluding houses plummeted 35.5 percent on month and 15.2 percent on year to 4,259.