Approvals for new homes have marked the largest decline in seven months, after a sharp slide in go-aheads for apartment blocks.

Approvals for the construction of new homes fell 4.4 per cent in April, much worse than market expectations, but were up 16.6 per cent for the 12 months to April. Approvals for private sector houses rose 4.7 per cent in the month, while ‘other dwellings’, including apartment blocks and townhouses,…