Regional Building Approvals disappoint in Cairns but better in Townsville

We have just returned from holiday so are now catching up on some data released during our absence. Last Tuesday saw the release of the ABS original regional building approvals data at both SA4 and Local Government Area level. Our own Conus Trend series help shed light on these highly volatile series.

If we look at the LGAs in our region first; we see Cairns Regional Council (including Douglas Shire) recorded very weak approvals in August (original data just 32) which has seen the Conus Trend fall to 56 while July was revised down to 59 (from 69). The Cassowary Coast Regional Council was also weaker (original just 5) which saw the Conus Trend stable at 8 after July was revised down from 9. On the Tablelands (including Mareeba) things were somewhat better (original 27) which has the Conus Trend stable at 19 after July was revised up from 17. Townsville City Council has seen a solid bounce (original data 108) which has the Conus Trend at 76 after July was revised from 68 to 74.1610202

At the SA4 level Cairns sees a big decline (original just 64) which has the Conus Trend fall to 81 after July was revised down to 85 from 97. This represents a decline in Trend approvals of 29.1% from this time last year.

After a series of very weak numbers for Townsville we have finally seen some recovery. Original data for August came in at 109 which has seen the Conus Trend improve to 78 after July was revised stronger to 76 (from 72). The year on year decline in Trend Townsville approvals now stands at 15.8%.


The full set of Conus Trend QLD Regional Building Approvals data is available for download below. Please feel free to use this data but we appreciate you crediting Conus if you do so.

Conus Trend QLD Regional Building Approvals – Aug 2016


  1. Glen says:

    October 21st, 2016 at 2:32 am

    Pete I think we will see numbers in Townsville back to the 60-70 range in Sept that we have seen for a while, a couple of high density low cost housing projects and Salvation Army respite centre of individual living units effected the August numbers.

  2. Pete Faulkner says:

    October 21st, 2016 at 4:50 am

    Thanks Glen, that’s very interesting local info. If that is the case then we can expect to see the Trend series reviesd down in coming months. Cheers

  3. Mark Beath says:

    October 23rd, 2016 at 3:05 am

    Building approvals don’t necessarily translate into actual building as we know. However, in Cairns we have the Cairns Post reporting building activity and marketing where there has been no approval yet to appear in the ABS data. No Trumpian conspiracy theory. Just curious at what stage this will actually appear in ABS data. Have thrown query to council.

  4. Pete Faulkner says:

    October 26th, 2016 at 2:21 am

    Thanks Mark, will be interested if you get a response from Council Cheers, Pete

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