Today’s release of Building Approvals data for December were somewhat higher than expected generally, and show QLD doing better than the nation as a whole.
The seasonally adjusted data for Australia showed approvals were up 9.2% m/m for a 2.5% decline over the year (the market had been tipping a 4.5% m/m increase after a weak set of numbers for Nov). House were up 5.7% on the month while the volatile units data showed a 13.5% increase. If we consider the more stable Trend series we see Trend approvals fell in Dec by 0.1% m/m which gave a 3.0% decline over the course of the year (this is the first Trend yr/yr decline since June 2012).
Queensland’s numbers, while of the face of it somewhat worse, were actually reasonably encouraging. The seasonally adjusted data showed a month on month fall of 4.6% for an annual increase of 9.3%. However, this dip was caused by a large (19.7%) decline in unit approvals over the month; house approvals were up 13.4% (and the highest total of house approvals since Jan 2010). The Trend series showed a 1.1% increase for the month and a 10.0% increase for the year. The graph below clearly shows the shifting fortunes across the nation and Queensland.
Regional approvals will be released next week at which point we will update our Conus Trend series for Cairns, Townsville and the Cassowary Coast.