* Project launches for 2012 within estimate at 3.1 bln reais
* 2012 tougher for builders after long growth spurt cooled
RIO DE JANEIRO, Jan 14 (Reuters) - Brazilian real estate developer Brookfield launched new projects worth 1.76 billion reais ($866.2 million) in the fourth quarter of 2012, the company said in a regulatory filing on Monday, down nearly 3 percent from the same period in 2011.
New project launches for the whole of 2012 reached almost 3.1 billion reais, a shade above the minimum in the company's forecast range for the year of 3 billion to 3.5 billion reais. That represented a 22 percent drop from 2011's launch total.
Brazil's market for new homes has cooled over the past year as Latin America's biggest economy stagnated, leaving homebuilders to grapple with slowing demand after years of blockbuster growth.
Sales in the fourth quarter totaled 1.1 billion reais, down 17 percent year on year. For 2012 as a whole, sales totaled 3.4 billion reais, versus an estimate of 3 billion to 3.5 billion reais and down 24 percent from 4.4 billion reais in 2011.
The company delivered 75 new projects or project phases during 2012, totaling 9,246 units with a sales value of 1.8 billion reais.
For sales and new launch data by Brazilian construction firm Gafisa for the same period, see:
$1 = 2.0319 Brazilian reals Reporting by Juliana Schincariol; Writing by Peter Murphy; Editing by Chris Gallagher