Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Building approvals: Tully goes off!

The ABS released building approvals data for March this week. The numbers were weaker than expected for Queensland but more positive for FNQ without being outstanding: Building Approvals weak in QLD but the Far North bucks the trend.

The Conus Trend there stood at 52 for Cairns in March. Note also that the ABS data for Cairns LGA still includes Douglas.  With 3 months to go Cairns LGA has now gone past total approvals for FY2013. Down the road in Townsville the Conus Trend has been weakening and down to 121 although that remains a long way above Cairns despite an (almost) comparable population.

Conus was pleased to note a big spike in Tully (which includes Cardwell and Mission Beach) with 10 approvals for the months. The SA3 level data in Cairns continues to be geographically skewed with 75% of approvals this month in Cairns North.

That is the highest proportion in the last few years and wouldn't even surprise me if it was some kind of record for houses (ex-unit approvals which remain moribund). Cairns North is Brinsmead/Redlynch/Freshwater/Stratford and out to the Beaches. Cairns South is everything else down to Gordonvale.
The HTW Month in Review as usual provides some interesting perspective on Cairns property markets including this month the first home buyer market which may be relevant to the southside approvals. It suggests investor activity is not at a level which will crowd out first home buyers who are displaying a preference for existing property closer to the city rather than a new outer suburban home.

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