Thursday, May 26, 2011

Construction Data

Macrobusiness blog has posted some charts and commentary from yesterdays release of ABS construction data which emphasise the weakness in Queensland residential construction.

Queensland shows a classic boom and bust with similar weakness also in the resource state of WA. Again (sounding like a cracked record) construction weakness in Cairns is not something unique but widespread throughout Queensland.

RBA Deputy Guvnor Ric Battelino has also made reference to similar trends in a speech today with reference to mortgage loan arrears:

"Recently, it has been parts of Queensland and Western Australia that have shown a deterioration in loan arrears, albeit from low levels. As had been the case in Sydney earlier in the decade, the recent increase in loan arrears in these states followed a sharp increase in housing loans and unusually strong rises in house prices between 2006 and 2008. Some part of this was justified by the emerging resources boom but, as had occurred earlier in Sydney, this was accompanied by some lowering of credit standards and increased speculative activity, with the result that some households over-extended themselves. Adding to the stress on household finances was the fact that both these states experienced larger-than-average increases in unemployment during the 2009 downturn, though again from relatively low levels."

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