Building Approvals weak with QLD falling in yr/yr Trend terms for first time in 4 years

Today’s building approvals data for June highlights the slowdown we’ve been seeing nationally for a few months; and also sees Queensland, which had been holding up, going into decline.

At the national level seasonally adjusted approvals fell by 2.9% m/m and 5.9% yr/yr after previous months were also revised weaker. The declines came both from house approvals (down 2.4% m/m) and units (down 3.4% m/m). Weakness in unit approvals, which we discussed last month (see here) are now down 6.3% for the year. The less volatile Trend series (which also saw back months being revised lower) fell 0.9% m/m and is down 3.9% from a year ago.

In Queensland, after a period in which the state appeared to be somewhat bucking the national trend, we have also succumbed to a slowdown. Seasonally adjusted approvals fell by 2.1% m/m and are down 15.9% yr/yr. Unlike at the national level there was some growth in the houses market (+3.1% m/m) but the ongoing decline in unit approvals (down 7.7% m/m) dragged the total lower. Over the course of the past year unit approvals have fallen by 31.2%. On the Trend basis approvals fell 3.2% m/m (the fifth such consecutive decline) and were down 2.4% yr/yr; this is the first time the annual Trend rate has been negative since June 2012.

Next week we will update our Conus Trend approvals series for all the QLD SA4 regions and the Far Northern LGAs. Given the reality that the previous strength in QLD approvals has been largely restricted to the SE corner, we are not hopeful that today’s data presages a good set of numbers for the regions next week.160802

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