Trend building approvals show North bucking the national trend

The ABS released their original regional building approvals data this morning which allows us to update the Conus Trend series for the SA4 regions in Queensland and the Local Govt Areas in the North.

Given the latest data at the national and state level released last week provided no sign of improvements (see here for detail), with the national Trend down 18.2% y/y and Queensland down 15.8% y/y, we weren’t expecting much to shout about in the regional data either. Greater Brisbane, where unit approvals are more important than in the regions, fell 16.4% y/y while the Rest of QLD did somewhat better down 15.0% y/y.

When we consider the SA4 regions we see the North bucking the Trend to some degree. Cairns was down 10.3% y/y (to 70 approvals) while Townsville was up 19.3% y/y (to 45 approvals). This bounce in Townsville, while very welcome, needs to be seen in the context of the collapse witnessed since mid-2014; Trend monthly approvals are still less than one-third of their average levels from 5 years ago. In Cairns too the modest bounce seen in the last few months barely registers when seen against the earlier declines. Nevertheless both regions are now performing better than the State as a whole.

When we consider the Local Govt Areas we see;

  • Cairns Regional Council (incl Douglas Shire) at 52 approvals; down 0.5% y/y
  • Cassowary Coast Regional Council at just 5 approvals; down 29.1% y/y
  • Tablelands Regional Council (incl Mareeba Shire) at 15 approvals; down 17.8% y/y
  • Townsville City Council at 39 approvals; up 26.2% y/y

The complete set of Conus Trend data for the QLD SA4 regions is available for download. Please feel free to use this data but kindly acknowledge Conus when you do so.

Conus Trend Regional Building Approvals QLD – Oct 2019

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