A house bet that may not pay off for the bank

The Reserve Bank has wagered much on the strength of the housing investment boom -- but if dwelling approvals continue to decline over 2014 that boom will be a relatively short one.

Despite sharp falls in March, building approvals remain at an elevated level and point towards a solid boost in dwelling investment over the next couple of years. But the recent downward trend suggests that approvals have hit their peak and the boost to investment may not be as great as the Reserve Bank of Australia hopes.

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