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For additional information relating to this article, please contact:

William Steele Senior Economist
Tel: 902-424-6131Email:

September 21, 2017

Investment in new housing construction in Nova Scotia (current dollars) increased by 13.6 per cent in July 2017 compared to July 2016 to $69.3 million. Investment in new single-detached units decreased by 5.5 per cent, or $1.95 million, to $33.7 million, while investment in apartment units increased by 53.7 per cent, or $10.7 million, to $30.5 million. In Canada, new housing investment increased by 6.4 per cent over the same period.  

On a year-to-date basis, new housing investment increased 22.5 per cent in Nova Scotia, to $478.3 million in the first seven months of the year. Investment in construction of single-detached units was up 17.7 per cent to $244.5 million while investment in apartment unit construction was up 33.4 cent to $197.5 million.

Historically, Nova Scotia investment in new housing construction declined from late 2012 to mid-2014, reaching a monthly minimum in May of 2014 (note that May is typically a low month in the seasonal cycle for new housing construction). Investment has been generally on the rise since then. Investment in single-detached housing construction has generally declined over the past decade, while multiple unit construction surged periodically since 2011, at times displacing single housing as the largest component of new residential investment.

So far in 2017, single-detached construction investment has picked up compared to last year but remained low compared to historical averages. Apartment construction investment has also picked up in 2017, remaining elevated compared to historical averages. The shift to multiple unit construction is consistent with national trends, though the decline in investment in single unit housing is more pronounced in Nova Scotia.

Looking across the country, eight provinces saw an increase in investment in July 2017 compared to July 2016, led by Prince Edward Island, Manitoba, and Alberta. New housing investment in Newfoundland and Labrador declined 20.8 per cent compared to July 2016.

On a year-to-date basis, eight provinces saw an increase in investment in the first seven months of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016, led by Prince Edward Island, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, and Ontario. Two provinces saw a decline in investment, with the largest drop in Newfoundland and Labrador, followed by Alberta.

Statistics Canada CANSIM 026-0017

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