Pete Wargent blogspot

Co-founder & CEO of AllenWargent property advisory & buyer's agents, offices in Brisbane (Riverside) & Sydney (Martin Place) - clients include hedge funds, resi funds, & private investors.

4 x finance/investment author - 'Get a Financial Grip: a simple plan for financial freedom’ (2012) rated Top 10 finance books by Money Magazine & Dymocks.

"Unfortunately so much commentary is self-serving or sensationalist. Pete Wargent shines through with his clear, sober & dispassionate analysis of the housing market, which is so valuable. Pete drills into the facts & unlocks the details that others gloss over in their rush to get a headline. On housing Pete is a must read, must follow - he is one of the better property analysts in Australia" - Stephen Koukoulas, MD of Market Economics, former Senior Economics Adviser to Prime Minister Gillard.

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"I've been investing for over 40 years & read nearly every investment book ever written yet I still learned new concepts in his books. Pete Wargent is one of Australia's finest young financial commentators." - Michael Yardney, Australia's leading property expert, Amazon #1 best-selling author.

"The most knowledgeable person on Aussie real estate markets - Pete's work is great, loads of good data and charts, the most comprehensive analyst I follow in Australia. If you follow Australia, follow Pete Wargent" - Jonathan Tepper, Variant Perception, Global Macroeconomic Research, and author of the New York Times bestsellers 'End Game' and 'Code Red'.

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Wednesday, 30 November 2016

From nosebleed to nosedive


Well, that was fairly conclusive!

Actual total Building Approvals dropped to 16,538 in October in original terms, well below the monthly peak of 22,969 seen last year, and down -23 per cent from the prior year comparative figure. 

This was the fifth monthly fall in the last six months in seasonally adjusted terms, and the trend result has now declined for 5 consecutive months.  

House approvals have held up relatively well, but a massive ongoing plunge in Perth has pulled down the national result. 

Unit approvals experienced a very significant decline almost everywhere except Canberra, with huge year-on-year drops in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, and Perth in October. 

After several false starts, the decline in annual unit and apartment approvals is now certainly underway. 

Urbis had already reported this week that hundreds of apartment approvals in Brisbane will be shelved until the next cycle or canned completely, and this decline in approvals mirrors the inevitable forthcoming fall in apartment construction. 


Totting it all up, the thin green line shows the size of the drop in unit and apartment approvals, which came in at a walloping seasonally adjusted -42.6 per cent lower than a year ago for the month of October. 

In October itself there was a -24.8 per cent seasonally adjusted decline in unit approvals, following on from a similarly large -18.1 per cent decline in September. 

In annual terms attached dwelling approvals have declined from a record high peak of 122,100 to 115,300, with plenty more to come here. 

High rise giveth...& taketh away

The number of flats of four or more storeys approved has now declined by 10 per cent from the peak.

In fact, this sector alone has almost entirely accounted for the boom in dwelling approvals, and now, correspondingly, the numbers are set to go into freefall. 

The wrap

Although there is still a high volume of work in the pipeline, it's clear to see that apartment construction will need to fall, and fairly soon. 

Unfortunately last month's record spike in non-residential approvals - presumably driven by Packer's latest Barangaroo adventures - was not replicated this month, with the value of non-residential approvals all but halving month-on-month, from $5.4 billion to $2.8 billion.

In rolling quarterly terms, last month's epic Packer-inspired spike means that the total value of approvals over the last quarter is at a record high. 

Already, however, there are reports of apartment projects being delayed, so it seems unlikely that the residential sector can contribute much more to growth in the economy. 

Overall, although it could take a little while, it seems that it won't be too long before residential construction will switch from being a driving force for the economy to becoming a headwind.