The total number of building permits issued in Australia in May tumbled a seasonally adjusted 16.4 percent on month in May, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Wednesday - coming in at 12,736.
That missed expectations for a decline of 10.0 percent following the 2.1 percent decline in April.
Permits were down 11.6 percent on year.
Permits for private sector houses fell 4.4 percent on month and 0.4 percent on year, while permits for private sector dwellings excluding houses plummeted 34.9 percent on month and 30.6 percent on year.
The seasonally adjusted estimate of the value of total building approved fell 13.5 percent in May. The value of residential building fell 17.3 percent, while the value of non-residential building fell 7.1 percent.