December Housing Starts in Nova Scotia and Halifax

HALIFAX, Jan. 11 /CNW/ - New residential construction activity increased last month in Nova Scotia's urban centres compared to December 2008. According to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's (CMHC) preliminary data(1) released today for Nova Scotia's urban areas with a population over 10,000, there were 199 total housing starts in December compared to 182 in December 2008.

Single starts in Nova Scotia's urban centres climbed by 39 per cent in December and were partially offset by a 49 per cent decline in multiple starts. In Halifax, single starts increased for only the second month of the year, while multiple starts recorded a decline.

On a full-year basis, single starts were down 20 per cent in Nova Scotia's urban centres and 26 per cent in Halifax, while multiple starts were off nine and six per cent in each area, respectively.

"New construction activity began to increase in the latter part of the year as new apartment projects began to break ground in Halifax and single starts began to see modest increases," said Matthew Gilmore, senior market analyst with CMHC's Atlantic Business Centre. "The combined effect of strong employment, higher wages and historically low interest rates began to have a more substantial impact on the housing market over the past few months," added Gilmore.

In urban centres across Canada, total housing starts increased 17 per cent with 12,262 recorded in December compared to 10,488 during December of 2008. Single-detached starts increased 44 per cent to 6,222, while multiple starts of 6,040 represent a two per cent decline from the previous year. In Atlantic Canada, there were 672 urban housing starts posted versus 574 the previous December, an increase of 17 per cent.

As Canada's national housing agency, CMHC draws on more than 60 years of experience to help Canadians access a variety of quality, environmentally sustainable and affordable homes. CMHC also provides reliable, impartial and up-to-date housing market reports, analysis and knowledge to support and assist consumers and the housing industry in making vital decisions.

For more information, visit or call 1 800 668-2642.

    (1) Figures for the most recent month are preliminary and subject to
        revisions due to corrections or updates from quarterly enumeration or
        sampling results.

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                             NOVA SCOTIA SUMMARY
                       2009      2008                 YEAR-TO-DATE
                     -----------------  % Change  ------------------ % Change
                        DEC       DEC                2009      2008
                 ALL URBAN CENTRES WITH POPULATIONS (greater than) 50,000
    Single               92        65      41.5%      875     1,180    -25.8%
    Multiple             14        44     -68.2%      858       916     -6.3%
    TOTAL               106       109      -2.8%    1,733     2,096    -17.3%
    Single               14        13       7.7%      145       156     -7.1%
    Multiple              7         5      40.0%       83        76      9.2%
    TOTAL                21        18      16.7%      228       232     -1.7%
    Single              168       121      38.8%    1,663     2,088    -20.4%
    Multiple             31        61     -49.2%    1,124     1,239     -9.3%
    TOTAL               199       182       9.3%    2,787     3,327    -16.2%
    Figures for the most recent month are preliminary and subject to
    revisions due to corrections or updates from quarterly enumeration or
    sampling results.

    * Includes all centres with a total population of more than 10,000
    (Halifax CMA, Cape Breton RGM, Truro CA, Kentville CA and New Glasgow CA,
    Chester MD CA, East Hants MD CA, Kings Subd. A SC CA, Lunenburg MD CA,
    Queens RGM CA, West Hants MD CA, Yarmouth MD CA).

    (XX) Indicates changes in excess of 100% which are not reported due to
    volatility resulting from small absolute numbers.

SOURCE Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

For further information: For further information: Matthew Gilmore, Senior Market Analyst, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, (902) 426-4686,

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