Building Approvals declines slow

The ABS release of residential building approvals for November confirms the slide continues; although the rate of that decline has certainly slowed.

Seasonally adjusted data for Australia shows approvals were up 11.8% m/m and remain just 3.8% lower than a year ago, which is the best result since the middle of 2018. Our prefered Trend series showed a 0.8% increase for the month (the third consecutive monthly improvement and the first time we’ve seen that in two years) with the rate of decline for the year falling to 11.8% (also its slowest pace since mid-2018). The improvement at the national level is being driven by unit approvals which are now down just 10.7% for the year.

In Queensland the seasonally adjusted data showed a 1.0% increase m/m while the year of year decline was at 12.3%. The Trend series showed a 0.4% decline for the month with the year-on-year fall slowing to 10.1% (again, the best result since mid-2018). Unlike at the national level, the improvement in Queensland is being driven by house approvals which are now down just 4.8% y/y while units remain 20.5% below their level of a year ago.

Next week will see the ABS release their regional original approvals data at which point we will be updating the Conus Trend series for the Queensland SA4 regions.

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