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For additional information relating to this article, please contact:

Thomas StorringDirector – Economics and Statistics
Tel: 902-424-2410Email:

October 08, 2019

Nova Scotia's housing starts (seasonally adjusted annualized rate) declined 23.2 per cent to 4,467 in September compared to 5,813 in August. Compared to September 2018, housing starts were down 36.8 per cent. 

The monthly decline in September was due to lower starts across the province. Housing starts in Halifax declined 25.2 per cent to 2,680 in September. Outside of Halifax, housing starts declined 19.9 per cent in September to 1,787. Compared to September 2018, starts were down 44.2 per cent in Halifax and down 21.2 per cent outside of Halifax.

The six-month moving average of housing starts in Nova Scotia and Halifax was relatively flat through 2017. During 2018, the six-month moving average rose due to higher starts for multiples and declined after reaching a peak in September. Since the early months of 2019, the six-month moving average has risen primarily due to higher starts in the Halifax market. Outside of Halifax, the six month moving average was elevated through 2018 but has since returned to levels similar to those seen in 2017. Since the spring of 2019, the six month moving average has been trending upward outside of Halifax.

In urban areas, housing starts for multiples are generally higher than for singles with greater variability month-to-month. The six-month moving average for singles is at levels similar to 2017, with a period in the first half of 2018 when it rose gradually before declining. The six-month moving average for multiples rose during the summer months of 2018 and declined until the first quarter of 2019. Since then, the six-month moving average for multiples has been rising.

Nationally, housing starts declined 2.5 per cent in September to 221,202 compared to 226,871 in August. National housing starts were up 15.8 per cent compared to September 2018.

Comparing the first nine months of 2019 with the same period of 2018, housing starts are down 8.5 per cent in Nova Scotia. Housing starts were up in four provinces, with the fastest increases reported in New Brunswick (+37.3 per cent) and Prince Edward Island (+34.0 per cent).  Newfoundland and Labrador (-53.8 per cent) reported the fastest decline year-to-date, followed by Saskatchewan (-32.3 per cent).  Nationally, housing starts are down 0.8 per cent over January-September 2018.

Note: Urban areas are defined as areas over 10,000 people

Source: Statistics Canada


CHMC Housing Market Information Portal

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