Australian building approvals plunged in January, reversing almost all of the bounce previously recorded in December.
According to the ABS, approvals fell by 7.5% to 17,446 in seasonally adjusted terms, largely offsetting the downwardly revised 8.6% increase of December.
The decline, well below expectations for a smaller drop of 2.0%, left the year-on-year decline at 15.5%.
So the residential construction boom now appears to be unwinding, in line with expectations.
Over the month private sector approvals for houses slid by 6.0% to 9,319, leaving the year-on-year drop at 3.3%.
Private sector dwelling approvals excluding houses, namely units, fell bey a larger 10.8%, taking approvals some 26.7% below those levels of a year earlier.
In line with the sharp drop in total approvals, the value of approvals also fell heavily.
According to the ABS, the value of total building approved fell 10.7% in January following a rise of 0.4% in December.
The value of residential building fell 11.4% while the value of non-residential building fell 9.2%, extending its drop from December.
More to come…