FNQ Regional Building Approvals slow

Yesterday saw the release of the ABS Regional Building Approvals data for December. The ABS provide the data only as an unadjusted monthly series, so we prefer to study our own Conus Trend to get a meaningful picture.

In the Cairns region (including Douglas Shire) the ABS reported just 55 approvals which saw the Conus Trend tick up slightly to 74, but only after November was revised sharply down from 88 to 73. Over the course of the year the Conus Trend showed an increase of 22.8%.

In Townsville, where a construction slowdown is now well entrenched, total approvals were just 42 (the lowest monthly total since Jan 2011) and the Conus Trend fell to 74, while November was revised sharply lower to 75 from 83. Over the course of the year the Conus Trend showed a decline of 42.4%!

The situation in the Cassowary Coast also continues to slide, Original data showed just 3 approvals for the month and the Conus Trend static at 6 (while November was revised down from 7). Over the year the Trend has fallen by 39.6%.


2 replies
  1. Glen
    Glen says:

    Pete this just highlights the devastating effect the lack of business confidence is having in Cairns. As we get close to a decade now since the GFC the lack of capital is still hurting the region right through every level of business. By all indicators the recovery in building approvals for Cairns should be well underway, plenty of land available, competitive builders with good product, the lowest interest rates in memory, yet despite this the numbers are poor. More concerning is looking ahead it is hard to see a defining change in market conditions that would increase approvals to the point where many feel they should be.

    • Pete Faulkner
      Pete Faulkner says:

      Thanks for the comment Glen.
      Certainly approvals in Cairns are not as strong as we might have expected by this stage in the cycle. It may well be that there remains an element of people holding back until there is more clarity around the Aquis proposal. At least in Cairns the gradual upward movement in Trend seems intact and we are returning to levels close to those seen prior to the GFC.
      The situation in Townsville, on the other hand, is parlous with what can really only be described as a construction “crash” now well underway.
      Cheers, Pete


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