Regional Building Approvals a mixed bag

The regional residential building approvals data for the Far North in June were a bit of a mixed bag. Data released by the ABS this morning shows a total of 59 approvals in Cairns (incl Douglas) after 68 in May; 121 in Townsville after 93 in May; and 13 in the Cassowary Coast after just 9 in May. As always, we have to take these original, unadjusted numbers with a very large grain of salt instead turning our focus to the Conus Trend series.

The Conus Trend shows Cairns (incl Douglas) at 63 (down from 68 in May), Townsville at 107 (up from 106 in May) and Cassowary Coast at 9 (up from 8 in May). The annual rates of change in the Trend series are Cairns (incl Douglas) +4.0%, Townsville -20.6% and Cassowary Coast +3.6%.

What the Conus Trend data is telling us is that the slide in Townsville continues while Cairns’ recovery remains at a very modest pace (and has slowed sharply in recent months). The Cassowary Coast, coning from a very low base, is also seeing only modest growth.

If we consider the CCRC data in more detail we see the bulk of the approvals coming from the Johnstone SA2 (5 approvals) and Tully SA2 (4 approvals) with the rest in Innisfail SA2 and Babinda SA2. For the FY 2014-15 the Cassowary Coast saw a total of 98 approvals; which is a 15.3% increase on the 85 seen in FY 2013-14.

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