The release of the regional Building Approvals data for Sept is a bit of a mixed bag for the area. The unadjusted ABS data is, as always, too volatile to use as a clear guide. Rather we need to focus on the Conus Trend.
In Cairns (incl Port Douglas) the unadjusted data showed 61 approvals (up from 44 in Aug) and as a result the Conus Trend has improved slightly to 54 (with Aug revised up to 53 from 52). However, despite this improvement, Trend Approvals remain 12.1% below their level of a year ago.
In the Cassowary Coast there were just 6 approvals in Sept (after 13 in Aug) and we see the Conus Trend stable at 9 (although Aug was revised down from 11). Nevertheless the Trend is still some 30.8% above where it sat 12 months ago.
The slowdown in Townsville that we have been discussing for some time has continued. Approvals in Sept were just 89 (after 108 in Aug) and sees the Conus Trend fall to 93 (with Aug revised down from 102 to 94). This is the slowest rate of Trend approvals in Townsville since Mar 2011 and represents a 37.9% decline from a year ago.