Regional ABS data for April shows building approvals in the Cassowary Coast slowed sharply, despite positive comments from the Council about first quarter data in the local press just last week (see our previous commentary on what appeared strong data). Unadjusted approvals in April were just 2 (after 11 in March); both of the recorded approvals came from the Tully SA2 area (which includes Tully, Cardwell and Mission Beach).
These unadjusted figures are always highly volatile so the Conus Trend is the preferred measure. Here we see Trend approvals in the Cassowary Coast at 7 (down from 8 in March, which was in turn revised sharply lower from 11). This is below the Trend level of 9 seen at this time last year.
The Cairns data, whilst slightly better for the month, also saw the Conus Trend weaker. Unadjusted approvals in Cairns and Douglas in April totalled 63 (60 in Cairns, 3 in Douglas) and, although this was slightly better than the 60 total seen in March, the Conus Trend declined slightly to 61 (from a downwardly revised 65 in March); 14.5% higher than a year ago.
The picture was similar in Townsville. Unadjusted data saw a total of 109 approvals (up from 93 in March) although the Conus Trend fell slightly to 112 from an unrevised 113; 4.4% lower than a year ago.