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ANZ analysts note that the Australian residential building approvals fell 15.5% m/m in March, following a 19.1% increase in February.

Key Quotes

“The drop in approvals was driven by private sector units, which declined 30.6% after jumping 64.5% in February. The decline in house approvals slowed in March, at only 3.1% m/m, compared with a drop of 3.5% m/m in February. Dwelling approvals are down 27.3% y/y.”

“Unit approvals are driving a flatter trend in residential approvals. In trend terms, unit approvals have flattened out at around 6,000 per month since November. This is a moderation from the peak of the trend during 2016, but is still higher than long-run historical trends, at around 4,000 per month. Given population growth, we think a higher trend level is sustainable.”

“The value of non-residential approvals fell by 8.7% m/m in seasonally adjusted terms, bringing the annual change in the trend to -12.1% y/y.”