There is further evidence the Aussie housing sector is struggling, but it may not be enough to get the Reserve Bank of Australia to cut its interest rate.
Approvals for the construction of new homes fell 5.5 per cent across Australia in March, to their lowest level in seven months, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics data released yesterday.
This followed the RP Data-Rismark Home Value Index which showed home prices across Australia's eight capital cities fell by half a per cent last month.
JP Morgan economist Tom Kennedy said the housing sector was still struggling, despite the RBA cutting the cash rate to a equal record low of 3 per cent in December.
The RBA has kept the cash rate on hold since the start of this year but there are growing calls for it to cut again in the next few months.
"Following a strong second half of 2012, the residential building sector is not making the necessary next leg up," Kennedy said.
"This is important for the RBA, in reaffirming their bias towards a lower cash rate, but probably is not enough to get them over the line for a cut at next week's May board meeting."
HIA senior economist Shane Garrett said the housing industry was in a "delicate state".
"Every positive indicator on housing seems to be followed by negative data."AAP