Floods knock out approvals
BUI L DI NG approvals in January fell heavily for their biggest monthly slump in more than eight years as flooding in Queensland and Victoria exacerbated t he slowdown.
However, while the slump was well below market expectations for a 3.5 per cent decline, economists were largely unconcernedas January was a traditionally slow month for the housing industry.
Australian building approvals fell 15.9 per cent to 12,342 units i n January, seasonally adjusted, from an upwardly revised 1 4 , 6 8 2 units in December, Australian Bureau of Statistics ( ABS) data showed yesterday. Westpac senior economist Matthew Hassan said the January figures were always going to be very weak, with flooding dragging down the headline number.
‘ ‘ Severe f l ooding meant there would have been little or no approval processing or application activity in affected areas – most of Queensland and significant parts of NSW and Victoria,’’ Mr Hassan said.
SLUMP: January is traditionally a bad month for building
approvals but floods worsened the situation