Regional building approvals a mixed bag

Regional building approvals data for Nov has turned out to be a bit of a mixed bag. The unadjusted data from the ABS shows that Cairns (including Douglas) saw a total of just 42 approvals (half of the total for Oct), the Cassowary Coast saw a sharp uptick to 14 (from 4 in Oct) while Townsville was also weaker at 102 (from 168 in Oct). However, these unadjusted numbers are so volatile as to be almost meaningless. We need to consider the Conus Trend series to make any sense.

The jump in approvals in the Cassowary Coast was caused by 11 approvals in the Tully SA2 area (which includes Mission Beach and Cardwell) while Innisfail remained very quiet.

The Conus Trend series shows Cairns (incl Douglas) at 58 (down from 59 in Oct which was itself revised down from 64), CCRC at 6 (down from 7 in Oct although that was revised up from 5), and Townsville at 128 (down from 137 which was also revised down from 155). If we consider the Trend changes over the past 12 months we see that Cairns (incl Douglas) is up 13.6%, CCRC is up 18.9% while Townsville is down 0.8%.

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