The Building Approvals data for April has come in weaker than anticipated, but the result is due to the (highly volatile) units sector experiencing heavy falls in the month. Seasonally adjusted data shows total approvals fell 4.4% on the month for a 16.3% increase over the year. However, house approvals actually rose 4.7% for the month while units fell by 13.6%. The much less volatile Trend series shows total approvals down just 0.4% for the month (with the March data revised lower) and up 16.5% for the year.
The story is a similar one in Queensland. Here we see total approvals fell 14.2% for the month (seasonally adjusted) but were up 36.7% over the year. Again, unit approvals were the culprit with house approvals rising 1.9% for the month against units which fell by 27.9%. In Queensland the Trend series saw a 0.8% m/m decline for a 21.0% annual increase.
The ABS will release regional approvals data next week at which time we will update our own Conus Trend series for Cairns, the Cassowary Coast and Townsville.