Australian building approvals fell by 32.8 percent from November 2016-2017, with experts predicting the downward trend will continue this year.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the nation’s approvals dropped by 9.1 percent in November compared to the previous month. In a comment to the ABC, NAB economist Kaixin Owyong suggested this is linked to the falling house prices in Sydney and Melbourne.

The biggest downturn has been in apartment approvals, with a 53.9 percent drop in the number of building permits issued for apartments, town houses and semi-detached houses over the past year. November saw a 17.9 percent drop in approvals.  

An overall downward trend is consistent in all states and territories except Tasmania and the ACT.

Australia’s biggest construction markets, NSW and Victoria, peaked in 2016 and 2018 respectively based on ABS data.