Despite the stronger data at a state level for April (see here), which had QLD hit a new record high for Trend approvals, the regional data released today has little of good news for our region.
Looking first at the Local Government Area data we see Townsville continuing to slide with the Conus Trend at 62 (down from 63 in March); this represents a 40.8% decline over the year. In the Cassowary Coast there is a small tick up with the Conus Trend at 7 (previously 6 in March) which is a 21.5% decline on the year. When we consider Cairns Regional Council (incl Douglas Shire) the Conus Trend has fallen to 60 (after March was revised up to 62 from 60) which represents a 8.2% decline over the year.
In the broader SA4 regions things look barely changed from March.
In the Townsville SA4 region the Conus Trend sits at 75, while March was revised down from 75 to 74. This is a fall of 44.5% in residential approvals in the region in the past year.
In Cairns SA4 the Conus Trend edged slightly higher to 107 (after March was revised from 100 to 106) which gives us a 9.4% increase over the year; this is close to the 10.6% y/y Trend increase seen for the state as a whole. Given the fact that the Cairns, Post Douglas and Cassowary Coast LGAs are not seeing this kind of Trend growth then it is clear that the strength in the Cairns SA4 area is being driven largely by the Tablelands and Mareeba Shires. Given that the strength seen in the state data was largely driven by unit approvals, and the fact that there are precious few of those in the North, it is encouraging to see Trend growth almost on a par with the state average in the Cairns SA4 Region. (NOTE..we shall be doing some work over coming weeks to construct a Conus Trend series for the Tablelands Regional Council and Mareeba Shire)
The second chart below highlights the ongoing issue that the state’s approvals strength is being driven by the SE corner rather than the regions.
The full Conus Trend data for Residential Building Approvals for the Queensland SA4 Regions is available for download below. Please feel free to use this data as you wish but we would appreciate you acknowledging Conus when you do so. Regional Labour Force data is also available on our Reports page.