Building approvals jumped in November, driven by a boost in unit approvals. Image: AAP/Justin Sanson.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus22 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market22 hours agoPermits to build houses fell 2 per cent from a month earlier, while approvals for apartments and other dwellings rose by 30.6 per cent during the month.The overall increase in approvals nationally was largely driven by Victoria, with Queensland and New South Wales recording month-on-month declines.Queensland has seen a sharp uplift in apartment construction in recent years.“Dwelling approvals have continued to rise in recent months, which has been driven by renewed strength in approvals for apartments,” ABS director of construction statistics Justin Lokhorst said. “Approvals for private sector houses have remained stable, with just under 10,000 houses approved in November 2017.”Housing Industry Association senior economist Shane Garrett said the result was “remarkably robust” even though the multi-unit approvals could vary hugely from month to month.“The geographic reach of November’s expansion was quite narrow with Melbourne’s booming market accounting for the lion’s share of the increase nationally,” Mr Garrett said.Australia’s housing market is expected to slow this year as prices soften amid tighter lending restrictions.Most economists also expect interest rates to rise toward the end of the year. BRISBANE SET FOR FIRST $20M HOME SALE Apartments under construction in Newstead, Brisbane. Building approvals jumped in November driven by a spike in unit approvals. Photo: Glenn Hunt.A SURPRISINGLY strong lift in building approvals has renewed hope there might be life left in the residential construction cycle after all.Approvals for the construction of new homes rose 11.7 per cent in November from October, driven by a sharp spike in unit approvals, according to the latest figures from the Bureau of Statistics. GET THE LATEST REAL ESTATE NEWS DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX HERE Approvals to build or renovate houses and apartments gained 17.1 per cent from a year earlier.Economists had been expecting them to fall by 1.3 per cent.