The FINANCIAL -- The number of Australian home-loan approvals rose a seasonally adjusted 2.9% in August from July, the Bureau of Statistics said on October 9, according to Nasdaq.
Economists surveyed ahead of the announcement had expected a rise of 5.25%.
The value of loans for investment housing fell 0.4% from a month earlier, the ABS said.
Australia's bank regulator has moved this year to slow the pace of lending to property investors, which had been driving higher house prices in major housing markets like Sydney and Melbourne.
The Reserve Bank of Australia, which has been paying close attention to the situation given its potential to disrupt the economy, said recently that there is evidence the curbs on lending are taking some heat out of the market.
Finance approvals to build new houses rose 2.4% in August from July. Approvals to buy new homes rose 2.7%, while lending for already built houses rose 3.0% in the month.