Residential Building Approvals dive in the North

The decline in Trend residential building approvals in QLD reported last week (see here) means that a similar fall in the North was to be expected. However the declines in both Cairns and Townsville are still larger than we might have hoped for. The original, unadjusted data from the ABS is highly volatile and we therefore prefer the Conus Trend series to paint a more understandable picture.

In Townsville City Council the original approvals data for January has fallen to an all-time low (since records began in July 2004) of just 21. This sees the Conus Trend drop to 55 (while Dec was revised lower from 64 to 59). Trend approvals now stand at 12.2% lower than a year ago.

In Cairns Regional Council (in which we include Douglas Shire Council for historical consistency) original approvals data was also weak at just 25 (lowest since Jan 2013) and saw the Trend drop to 38 (after Dec was revised down to 41 from 47). Trend approvals now sit 50.7% lower than a year ago.

In the Cassowary Coast Regional Council the original approvals sat at 7 which left the Trend stable at 4, which is 47.1% down from a year ago.

Even the Tablelands Regional Council area (which includes Mareeba Shire Council for this data set) was weaker in January despite being the brighter light in previous months. Trend approvals fell to 19 in Jan (from a downwardly revised 20 in Dec) on the back of original data showing just 12 approvals. The Trend now sits 18.5% below a year ago.

At the SA4 level a similar picture emerges in our region. Townsville sees the Trend drop to 60 (after Dec was revised down to 65 from 67), while Cairns falls to 63 (from an unrevised 67 in Dec).

Nevertheless, as a whole, regional Queensland has fared somewhat better than Greater Brisbane (where the collapse in unit approvals has been most acutely felt).

The full set of Conus Trend data for the Queensland regions is available for download below. Please feel free to use this data (for non-commercial purposes) but we would appreciate you acknowledging Conus when you do so.

Conus Trend QLD Regional Bldg Apps – Jan 2017

2 replies
  1. Glen
    Glen says:

    Pete given the fact that a residual amount of approvals in Townsville are DHA homes, approx 300 per year, it would be fair to assume that private investment has virtually collapsed to record lows previous to January anyway, and would now be close to zero, in particular units have been single digits for consecutive months and nothing in the pipeline to suggest it will change any time soon.

    • Pete Faulkner
      Pete Faulkner says:

      Agree Glen, there certainly is no sign of light at the end of this particular tunnel. Thanks for the comment.


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