ABS data released today for Feb show building approvals reversing some of the strong growth seen in Jan (as had been broadly expected). On a seasonally adjusted basis Feb saw a 3.2% decline (driven by a 6.6% dip in unit approvals) for a 14.3% increase over the year. The less volatile Trend series, and generally more reliable measure given the fluctuations caused by unit approvals, showed a 1.6% increase after Jan’s 2.0% jump (revised from +1.3%).
Last month QLD led the approvals charge with a jump in unit approvals. Not surprisingly this has been largely reversed out this month. Feb seasonally adjusted data showed a 30.6% dip (unit approvals feel 45%), although this still leaves approvals up 12.2% on the year. Trend analysis shows an increase of 2.1% (down from 2.5% in Jan, itself revised from 2.6%) for an annual change of 15.6% (the strongest annual Trend growth since Jul ’14).