The Building Approvals data for March released today has beaten market expectations and cemented a strongly positive trend both at State and National level.
The seasonally adjusted data showed total approvals up 2.8% for the month (against expectations of a 1.6% fall); this equates to a 23.6% increase over the course of the past 12 months. In addition, data for previous months was revised stronger with the Feb monthly decline cut in half to 1.6% from 3.2%. Approvals for units led the way (+5.3% m/m) with private house approvals up 1.1%. Unit are, by their nature, a highly volatile component so looking at the Trend series can give us a clearer view; here we see Approvals up 1.8% m/m (with Feb also revised slightly higher) and +18.2% yr/yr (this is the fastest rate of Trend growth since Apr 2014).
At a State level, we see solid improvement in Queensland too. Seasonally adjusted approvals rose 8.1% for the month (+35.1% yr/yr). However, all of that increase came from units (+17.6% m/m) with house approvals actually falling slightly. The Trend series shows an unambiguously positive picture with total approvals up 3.0% m/m and +26.0% for the year ( this is the fastest rate of Trend growth in QLD since the start of last year).
Regional data will be released next week by the ABS at which time we will be updating our own Conus Trend series for Cairns, Cassowary Coast and Townsville.