Building Approvals for January have defied expectations of a decline and bounced 1.8% for the month (seasonally adjusted), although this is still a 12.0% decline for the year. On the more stable Trend basis approvals fell 2.1% for the month and were down 15.5% over the year.
As has been the case for some time, the major contributor for the declines are coming from unit, rather than house, approvals which are down 22.7% for the year (Trend); house approvals have fallen just 8.5%.
In Queensland the slow down is more dramatic. The seasonally adjusted data showed a 11.9% drop for the month, 45.4% down for the year. The Trend series was down 38.0% for the year. However, here the impact of the unit approvals slowdown is even more marked. On the Trend basis unit approvals are now down 64.7% from the same time last year, while house approvals have fallen 6.5% (less then the national drop). The second chart below makes clear the impact of the unit approvals boom and bust over the past two years on the total Queensland numbers.