August residential building approvals data showed a decline of 1.6% on the month for a very modest 0.6% gain over the past 12 months. House approvals are now up 12.3% y/y while the far more volatile unit approvals are down 18.1% across Australia.
Queensland’s numbers are somewhat better. Approvals were up 8.1% for the month and were up 12.0% from a year ago. House approvals are up 8.3% for the year while units were up 22.6%.
We should note that given the volatility in the economy presently, and the fact that the ABS Trend series remains suspended (all figures relate to the seasonally adjusted data), it’s hard to draw much of a conclusion from this data. It might appear that the picture in Queensland has at least stabilised (at a low level) while at the national level there would seem to be evidence of continued weakness; only time will tell is those conclusions are justified.