The February Building Approvals data shows a 3.1% increase for the month (seasonally adjusted) for a 9.0% decline on the year. However the monthly increase is all down to (lumpy) unit approvals which were up 7.7%; house approvals fell by 1.0%. When we consider the less volatile Trend series we see a monthly fall of 0.5% for an annual drop of 10.5%.
A similar picture was seen in Queensland with the seasonally adjusted total up 9.5% m/m but up just 0.8% y/y. However, here too we saw unit approvals causing the rise. Units were up 20.0% while house approvals were virtually unchanged (+0.1%). In Queensland the Trend saw a 0.8% decline for the month for a 6.1% drop over the year.
Regional Building Approvals data is due for release next Monday at which time we will be updating our own Conus Trend series for the Cairns, Cassowary Coast and Townsville Local Govt. Areas.