Australian data released showed that new home sales fell by 4.9% in the month of December, with successive rate cuts by the RBA failing to have the desired impact.
All but two sectors were below water today, with Consumer Discretionary and Health Care the only ones to finish in the positive.
The big four weighed on the market as traders took profits following the significant gains in January and after UBS downgraded its rating for the industry to neutral.
Westpac was the worst performer of the big banks, dropping 1.4%.
The major miners were weaker after a poor night for metals; BHP lost 1.5% whilst rival Rio Tinto let go of 0.6%.
Aquarius Platinum crashed 12.5% after last night reporting a 4% fall production for the 2Q compared to the previous quarter.
Fairfax Media was the notable gainer on the market, soaring 10.1%, as speculation swelled that mining magnate Gina Rhinehart has bought an additional 8% stake in the business.
The ASX 200 sank 37 points (-0.9%), to close at 4226.