April numbers released Thursday spelled out more gloom for the Australian housing market
. Total building approvals, which have been declining since December 2017, were down again by 0.6 percent and decreased by a total of 21.8 percent in the previous year
(seasonally and trend adjusted).
As housing prices are deteriorating in many parts of the country, fewer new buildings are being put up. Queensland and Victoria were hit hardest with building approvals down 32 and 25 percent, respectively, over the course of a year. Q1 GDP numbers to be released Wednesday might hint at some relief, with a modest growth of 0.4 percent, up from 0.2 percent in the previous quarter, predicted.
This development puts Australia on track for the biggest slowdown since the recession of 2008/09. Since the decrease has been slowing, some are hoping for the housing market to at least bottom out and not continue its decline. Credit rate cuts and the easing of lending criteria might do their bit too.