Some improvement in building approvals data…but don’t get too excited

February residential building approvals data surprised the market with a sharp upward move on the back of a volatile spike up in unit approvals (at least in the nationwide data). Seasonally adjusted numbers show a 19.1% m/m increase, although this still represents a 12.5% decline for the year. Looking at the preferred Trend data shows a small 0.4% m/m increase and a decline of 21.7% for the year. House approvals are now down 12.3% y/y while unit approvals have fallen 32.7% y/y.

The picture for QLD was somewhat weaker. Seasonally adjusted data showed a 3.4% m/m increase for a 34.9% decline y/y. The Trend data had a 2.0% decline for the month which equates to a 35.3% drop over the year. House approvals are down 22.3% y/y while units are down 53.6%.

The ABS will release the regional Building Approvals data on Tuesday next week at which time we will update the Conus Regional Building Approvals Trend for QLD.

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