Regional building approvals fall again

The release by the ABS of the January, original regional residential building approvals allows us to update our own Conus Trend series. With residential approvals falling sharply at both the national and state level (see here for commentary) it is no surprise to see the decline across the regions.

On a Trend basis Queensland approvals dropped by 31.9% y/y in January and the Conus Trend shows that was made up of a 40.2% decline in Greater Brisbane and a rather less dramatic 28.7% drop in the Rest of Queensland.

Looking at the SA4 regions in more detail we see Cairns Trend approvals dropping to 65, a 45.5% fall for the year. In Townsville its dramatic slide continues with approvals falling to a new record low of just 32; a drop of 53.3% from the same time a year earlier and down from nearly 200 less than a decade ago. Despite some optimistic commentary from certain sections of the media in Townsville, this data provides no sign of a turn-around in the dire conditions for the construction industry in the region.

We can dig a little deeper by considering the Conus Trend data at the Local Government Area level. Here we see January Trends;

  • Cairns Regional Council (incl Douglas Shire) 49, -37.7% y/y
  • Cassowary Coast Regional Council 5, -47.7% y/y
  • Tablelands Regional Council (incl Mareeba Shire) 13, -52.3%
  • Townsville City Council 29, -44.3%

The full Conus Regional Building Approvals Trend data for Queensland is available for download below. Please feel free to use this data but kindly acknowledge Conus when you do so.

Conus Regional Building Approvals Trend QLD – Jan 2019

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