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For additional information relating to this article, please contact:

Thomas StorringDirector – Economics and Statistics
Tel: 902-424-2410Email: thomas.storring@novascotia.ca

October 08, 2020
CMHC PRELIMINARY HOUSING STARTS, SEPTEMBER 2020

Nova Scotia’s housing starts (seasonally adjusted annualized rate) increased 76.9 per cent to 6,690 in September compared to 3,782 units in August 2020. Compared to September 2019, Nova Scotia housing starts were up 51.3 per cent.

The monthly increase in September reflected higher starts in Halifax and lower starts in Nova Scotia outside of Halifax. Housing starts in Halifax were up 155.7 per cent from 2,067 in August to 5,285 in September 2020. Outside of Halifax, Nova Scotia’s housing starts were lower by 18.1 per cent from 1,715 in August to 1,405 in September.

Compared to September 2019, starts were up by 99.7 per cent in Halifax and down 20.9 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 increased due to higher starts for multiples and declined after reaching a peak in September. The six-month moving average rose until the summer of 2019 due to trends in the Halifax market and has subsequently peaked. 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 downward 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 been trending downward since May 2020. 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 fluctuating.

Nationally, housing starts declined 20.1 per cent to 208,980 in September compared to 261,547 in August 2020. Compared to a year ago, housing starts were down 5.7 per cent across Canada.

Among all provinces, Nova Scotia posted the highest monthly increase (76.9%) while Prince Edward Island experienced the largest monthly decline (-70.9%) in housing starts in September 2020.

In Jan-Sept 2020, housing starts was down 1.0 per cent in Nova Scotia compared to the same period in 2019. Nationally, housing starts increased 0.7 per cent in the first nine months of 2020 from the same period in 2019. Four provinces reported annual housing start increases with Saskatchewan posting the largest increase (+28.4%). Housing starts were down in six provinces led by British Columbia (-20.6%).

During the COVID-19 pandemic, housing starts declined in all provinces, falling below 10-year averages (2010-2019).

September housing starts in Canada were 3.9 per cent above their 10-year average while 7 of 10 provinces reported below the 10-year average housing starts. Nova Scotia posted the largest increase (+60.0%) relative to the 10-year average followed by Quebec (+22.3%) and Ontario (+14.9%).

The largest declines in housing starts (relative to the 10-year average) were reported in Saskatchewan (-69.4%) Newfoundland and Labrador (-67.5%) and Manitoba (-33.3%).

 

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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