Australian building approvals surged by 11.4% in October, completely reversing a 11.2% decline in October, with the annual rate of change ticking up to 2.5% from 11.5% seen previously. As has been the case for many years multi-unit approvals were the chief catalyst behind the surge, rising 30.4% on month after sliding 24.1% in September.
While the change in the headline figure screams strength, the reality is quite the opposite, at least looking ahead, with total unit approvals lower than what they were a year ago while housing approvals, a more stable indicator, have been trending lower, albeit still in positive territory, for the best part of a year.
In what will no doubt create increased volatility in the series ahead the percentage of unit to housing approvals continues also to narrow.
Thanks to the slight slowdown in unit approvals over the past year total approvals look to have peaked, albeit at elevated levels compared to the past decade.
While total approvals are easing it’s clear that the value is not with the total value of approvals rising to $4.963b in October, the second highest level in the history of the survey.
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