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For additional information relating to this article, please contact:

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

May 08, 2020

Nova Scotia's housing starts (seasonally adjusted annualized rate) totalled 3,211 in April 2020, up by 9.2 per cent from 2,940 in March. Compared to April 2019, Nova Scotia housing starts were lower by 19.7 per cent.

Housing starts increased 15.9 per cent in Halifax from 1,323 in March 2020 to 1,533 in April. Halifax starts were lower by 33.4 per cent compared to April 2019.

Outside Halifax, Nova Scotia's housing starts increased 3.8 per cent from 1,617 in March 2020 to 1,678 in April. Compared to April 2019, housing starts outside Halifax were down 1.2 per cent.

The six-month moving average of housing starts in Nova Scotia and Halifax show similar trends. Following an upwards trend in the summer months, housing starts have been trending down since fall 2019. The trends outside Halifax are different, with a rise in starts in the first half of 2018 followed by a decline over the next year.  Since then, housing starts outside Halifax have been rising.  

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 has been increasing since the first quarter of 2019.  The pace of multiple starts in urban areas has been more volatile, with peaks in summer of 2018 and summer of 2019. 

Nationally, housing starts declined 12.4 per cent in April to 171,265 compared to 195,420 in March. Among all provinces, Prince Edward Island posted the highest monthly increase (+76.1 %) while Quebec experiences the largest monthly decline (-89.3%) in housing starts in April 2020.

Compared to April 2019, housing starts were down 26.0 per cent across Canada. Four provinces reported annual declines with Quebec posting the largect decline (-90.7%). Housing starts were up in six provinces led by Saskatchewan (+92.9%). 

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

Table  34-10-0158-01   Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, housing starts, all areas, Canada and provinces, seasonally adjusted at annual rates, monthly (x 1,000)

Table  34-10-0156-01   Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, housing starts in all centres 10,000 and over, Canada, provinces, and census metropolitan areas, seasonally adjusted at annual rates, monthly (x 1,000)

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