Building Approvals trend still strong. Local data also stronger

This morning’s release of building approvals data showed a sharp 5% decline m/m in the country as a whole (this still left the annual increase at 23.2%), as units fell sharply (-7.7%); houses also fell 2.1%. These are always highly volatile numbers so the Trend series is much preferred; this shows a 0.7% increase m/m and a 27.6% increase y/y. The strong trend in building approvals is still in place.
At a State level the story for QLD is a similar one, although the month/month volatility is even greater with total approvals down 15.6% m/m (for a 16.2% increase y/y). House approvals in QLD fell 10% for the month with unit approvals dropping 21.3%. Again, the preferred Trend series shows total approvals fell 1.2% for the month but remain 34.4% up for the year.
Our own local regional data showed some signs of improvement. The raw (and therefore highly volatile data) showed Cairns with 50 approvals, Townsville with 255 and the Cassowary Coast with 8. Our own Conus Trend series for the local government areas saw upward revisions for previous months in all areas. The Feb results were; Cairns at 47 (unchanged from an upwardly revised Jan), Townsville at 127 (up from an upwardly revised 126 in Jan) and CCRC at 8 (up from an upwardly revised 7 in Jan).
The Conus Trend annual changes now stand at; Cairns +30.6%, Townsville +2.4% and CCRC +14.3%. We are clearly seeing some of the strength witnessed at a state and national level filtering into things at a local level.

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