Building approvals slipped in December, though not by as much as the market feared.

Total dwelling approvals dipped 0.2 per cent for the month to 14,752 on a seasonally adjusted basis, outperforming expectations of a 5.0 per cent decline from a downwardly revised 10.9 per cent surge in November.

Approvals for private sector houses slipped 0.1 per cent to 8,486 for December, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Monday, while the “other dwellings” category that includes apartment blocks and townhouses also dropped 0.1 per cent, to 6,087.

On an annual basis, total building approvals are up 2.7 per cent, though private sector house approvals are still down 7.1 per cent for the 12-month period.