Approvals for the construction of new homes rose 14.4 percent across Australia in September, figures released Thursday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) showed. The ABS reported the total number of dwelling approvals increased to 16,318 in September. Over the year to September, dwelling approvals were up 18.6 percent. The September result was much better than economists' forecast of a 2.8 percent rise for the month. Housing Industry Association senior economist Shane Garrett said the number of residential building approvals was the highest figure since March 2010. "The main message from today's figures is that the Reserve Bank 's interest rate cuts over the past two years are helping to support activity on the ground," Garrett said in a statement released Thursday. "However, it is worth remembering that the growth in approvals is dominated by multi-units rather than houses -- the recovery is not yet as broad-based as we would like." Australia's financial service firm CommSec chief economist Craig James said home building sector would lift further over the coming year, with many other sectors sharing in the gains of the building boom. "The early indicator of home construction is trending higher, pointing to increased activity for builders, tradespeople, material suppliers and housing-dependent businesses,"he said.