ABS data this morning for Building Approvals in July beat market expectations. Seasonally adjusted approvals were up 2.5% for the month (against expectations around +1.7%) for a 9.4% increase on the year. The bulk of the increase came from the highly volatile units sector, with housing approvals up by just 1.5%. The Trend series showed a decline of 0.5% m/m for a 5.9% increase from a year ago.
Queensland approvals were up 0.9% m/m (seasonally adjusted) and up 24.2% for the year. However, the July increase came exclusively from units with house approvals actually down. Trend data showed a 2.2% increase for the month, and +13.6% over the year.
CORRECTED…Thanks to Loose Change who noticed that the de-amalgamated Douglas Shire is now being reported separately from Cairns. In order to have consistency with previous years’ data we shall add Douglas to Cairns for Trend calculations.
The FNQ area also started the year on a broadly positive note. Cairns saw (unadjusted) approvals of 69 with Douglas reporting 7 (Total 76); which although only slightly stronger than June saw the Conus Trend much stronger at 63 after June was revised up to 59 from 52. The Conus Trend in Cairns is now +18.9% from a year ago. In Townsville unadjusted approvals were also slightly down on June at 152 but this saw the Conus Trend rise to 140 with June revised up to 129 (from 121); Trend approvals are now 18.6% above their level a year ago. In the Cassowary Coast the very gradual movement towards improvement continued with unadjusted approvals at 7 (5 in the Tully SA2 area). The Conus Trend for the Cassowary Coast remained unchanged at 9; but that is 50% better than the very low base a year ago.