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For additional information relating to this article, please contact:

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

November 08, 2019

Nova Scotia's housing starts (seasonally adjusted annualized rate) declined 35.8 per cent to 2,869 in October compared to 4,468 in September. Compared to October 2018, housing starts were down 0.7 per cent. 

The monthly decline in October reflected lower starts across the province. Housing starts in Halifax declined 48.3 per cent to 1,390 in October. Outside of Halifax, housing starts declined 16.9 per cent to 1,479. Compared to October 2018, starts were up 26.2 per cent in Halifax and down 17.3 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 was relatively flat through most of 2019 and has recently risen to levels similar to early 2018. 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 rose through Q2 before declining through Q3.

Nationally, housing starts declined 8.7 per cent in October to 201,973 compared to 221,135 in September. National housing starts were down 5.3 per cent compared to October 2018.

Comparing the first ten months of 2019 with the same period of 2018, housing starts are down 8.2 per cent in Nova Scotia. Housing starts were up in four provinces, with the fastest increases reported in Prince Edward Island (+37.2 per cent) and New Brunswick (+29.6 per cent).  Newfoundland and Labrador (-50.2 per cent) reported the fastest decline year-to-date, followed by Saskatchewan (-36.8 per cent).  Nationally, housing starts are down 1.3 per cent over January-October 2018.

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

Source: Statistics Canada


CHMC Housing Market Information Portal

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