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For additional information relating to this article, please contact:

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

July 09, 2020

Nova Scotia's housing starts (seasonally adjusted annualized rate) totalled 2,673 in June 2020, down 25.4 per cent from 3,585 in May 2020. Compared to June 2019, Nova Scotia housing starts were down 66.2 per cent.

Housing starts declined 46.9 per cent in Halifax from 2,695 in May 2020 to 1,432 in June 2020. Halifax housing starts were down 77.4 per cent compared to June 2019.

Outside Halifax, Nova Scotia's housing starts increased 39.4 per cent from 890 in May 2020 to 1,241 in June 2020. Compared to June 2019, housing starts outside Halifax were down by 21.3 per cent.

The six-month moving average of housing starts in Nova Scotia and Halifax shows similar trends. Following an upwards trend in summer months, housing starts have been trending down since fall 2019. The trends outside Halifax are different, with a rise in starts over the second half of 2019 followed by a decline since the start of 2020. 

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 increased 8.3 per cent to 211,681 in June 2020 compared to 195,453 in May 2020. Among all provinces, Newfoundland and Labrador posted the highest monthly increase (+87.4%), while Nova Scotia experienced the largest monthly decline (-25.4%) in housing starts in June 2020.

Compared to June 2019, housing starts were down 13.2 per cent across Canada. Eight provinces reported annual declines with Nova Scotia posting the largest decline (-66.2%). Housing starts were up in Ontario (+17.8%) and Quebec (+12.5%).

Compared to Q1 2020, housing starts in Canada declined 8.6 per cent in Q2 2020. Housing starts were down in five provinces with Nova Scotia posting the largest decline (-38.3%). Prince Edward Island posted the largest increase from the first quarter levels at 61.1 per cent.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, comparisons of year-to-date averages and sums do not show Nova Scotia’s rapidly-changing economic situation.  The DailyStats will focus on year-over-year comparisons, comparing one month with the same month in the prior year.  Where possible the DailyStats will make comparisons of seasonally adjusted data from the pre-COVID-19 period (January and February 2020) with the period during which COVID-19 measures were in place from March 2020 onwards.


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

Source: Statistics Canada, 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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