Steven Deare
(Australian Associated Press)

Home building approvals soared by almost 20 per cent in February but the industry is bracing for a fall due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The 19.9 per cent surge was largely credited to approvals for units in Victoria, according to seasonally adjusted data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

BIS Oxford economist Maree Kilroy said the February result was the largest monthly gain since 2013.

The Bureau of Statistics said people rebuilding homes from the summer bushfires had not yet factored in statistics.

House approvals fell by 0.8 per cent to 8,577 for the month.

The economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, which has left thousands of Australians without jobs, is expected to greatly affect the numbers in the next few months.

“The momentum that was building in the residential property market will now be lost,” Ms. Kilroy said.