Regional Building Approvals; Rest of QLD flat for the year as Far North does better

The regional building approvals data for March from the ABS this morning and best seen through the lens of the Conus Trend series.

When we look at the split across the State (which saw Trend growth of 7.5% y/y) it becomes clear that this is being driven almost exclusively by Greater Brisbane. Trend approvals in the capital area were up 13.5% y/y while those in the Rest of QLD barely moved (up just 0.3%).

In the Far North things are looking rather better with Cairns SA4 seeing Trend approvals nudge up to 100 in March (after Feb was revised down to 99). This represents a 26.1% y/y increase, although as the chart below shows, the pace of growth has slowed sharply in the last 3 or 4 months and we remain far below the levels witnessed prior to the GFC. To our south in Townsville SA4 we continue to see weakness, although March improved slightly with Trend approvals hitting 65 (after Feb was revised up to 63). Nevertheless, this still represents a 16.1% decline from a year ago.

If we consider the Local Government Area data we see that much of the strength in the North is actually come from outside of the Cairns Regional Council Area. CRC (including Douglas Shire) saw Trend approvals fall to 61 which is just 2.6% higher than a year ago. Cassowary Coast Regional Council saw the Trend edge slightly higher to 10 (a 69.0% increase from a year earlier) while the Tablelands Regional Council (including Mareeba Shire) was flat at 25 approvals (up 42.6% for the year).

Within our own Cassowary Coast region the divergence across areas is quite stark with the Tully SA2 (which includes Tully, Mission Beach and Cardwell) seeing 73 of the 97 total approvals in the Cassowary Coast so far this financial year; or 75%. Likewise, of the approximately $28 million in value of residential building approved more than $21 million of it has been seen in the Tully SA2. This despite the area accounting for less than 40% of the region’s population.

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

Conus Trend Regional Building Approvals QLD – Mar 2018


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