Building approvals of private sector houses rose for the fifth-consecutive month in November and were at the highest level in more than 20 years.
Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show total dwelling approvals rose 2.6 per cent in November to 17,205, but private sector houses rose by a further 6.1 per cent to 11,489.
Private house approvals stand 33.6 per cent higher than a year earlier.
ABS director of construction statistics Daniel Rossi said approvals for private houses had now surged 40 per cent since June.
“Federal and State housing stimulus measures and low interest rates have resulted in strong demand for detached dwellings,” Mr Rossi said.
Approvals for private sector houses rose in all states in November — Queensland led the way with 17 per cent, WA rose 7.5 per cent, South Australia was up 2.8 per cent, Victoria rose 1.5 per cent and NSW lifted 0.7 per cent.
The bureau also reported on Thursday the monthly trade surplus for goods and services was $5 billion in November, $1.6 billion smaller than in October.
This was the result of a 10 per cent rise in imports in the month, compared with a 3 per cent increase in exports.