ABS data this morning for residential Building Approvals in the Far North paint another disappointing picture after a weak month previously (see here). The original data for September shows that an apparent slight recovery in Townsville in August was merely a blip, and the ongoing weaker numbers elsewhere continue. As always, we need to consider the Conus Trend data to make sense of the highly volatile original data set.
When we consider the SA4 regions we see that Cairns saw an original figure of just 56 approvals (its lowest level since Dec 2013) and the Conus Trend has fallen again to 64 (with August revised down to 69). Approvals in the Cairns SA4 region are now 43% lower than they were a year ago. To our south in Townsville Trend approvals are stable at 73 (however August was revised down to 73 from 78); this represents a 17% decline from this time last year.
The full set of Conus Trend Building Approvals for all the SA4 regions in Queensland is available for download below. Please feel free to use this for non-commercial purposes but we appreciate you acknowledging Conus when you do so.
When we look at the data from a Local Government Area basis we also see ongoing weakness. In the Cairns Regional Council area (in which we include Douglas Shire to ensure consistency across previous data) the Conus Trend now stands at 43; down from 47 last month and down 38% from a year ago. In the Cassowary Coast Regional Council we see the Conus Trend stable at 7 after August was revised down slightly to 7, but are down 16% from a year ago.
In Townsville City Council the Conus Trend for September is now at 65 (down from 67 in August which was in turn revised down from 76); this is a 19% decline from a year ago. The Tablelands Regional Council (which includes Mareeba Shire) Conus Trend is stable at 18 (after August was revised down to 18 from 19).