RBA says SEQ builders see signs of improvement in sector

Christopher Kent of the RBA has given an informative speech on Recent Developments in the Housing Market, in which he noted there are signs of improvement in the SEQ building industry:

Approvals in Queensland have been subdued, particularly on the Gold Coast and in the south-east of the state more generally; however, even builders in that region have indicated to us that there are tentative signs of some improvement in demand more recently.

Mr Kent observes that approvals in detached houses have been very low and it’s only the apartments data that are encouraging. This explains why approvals in inner Brisbane are noteworthy relative to other SEQ regions, as shown in this chart I’ve pinched from the speech:

sp-ag-140313-graph8-4-small

Based on the promotions for new developments around town, the amount of apartment stock coming in the next few years in inner Brisbane is staggering, and it looks like it will be a good time to get into the market.

Regarding approvals data in North and Far North Queensland, Pete Faulkner’s post from earlier this week is informative:

Local Building Approvals less than inspiring

On today’s new ABS labour force data (see Queensland Treasury’s labour force brief), I’m unsurprised Queensland’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased, because I always doubted the large fall last month and suspected it was noise in the data (Very surprising employment numbers for Qld – ABS needs to investigate volatility). I expect labour market conditions will remain tight for a few months more at least.

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