Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

April 08, 2009 23:59 ET

Halifax Housing Starts Slow in March

HALIFAX, April 8 - New residential construction in Halifax
decreased in March compared to the same period last year. According to Canada
Mortgage and Housing Corporation's (CMHC's) preliminary data(1) released today
for Halifax, there were 89 total housing starts last month compared to 259 in
March 2008. There were 40 single starts last month compared with 75 in March
2008 while multiple starts decreased significantly from 184 to 49 units.

"A lack of apartment unit starts last month compared to a relatively
strong month for apartment unit starts in March 2008 resulted in a large
percentage decrease in total starts in March 2009," said Matthew Gilmore,
senior market analyst with CMHC's Atlantic Business Centre. "On a year-to-date
basis, the first quarter continued to see general weakness in demand for new
construction and resulted in a nearly 50 per cent decrease in single-detached
starts activity," Gilmore continued.
In urban centres across Canada, total housing starts in March declined by
45 per cent, down to 8,629 compared to last year's total of 15,616.
Single-detached starts decreased 46 per cent to 2,566 units, while multiple
unit starts were down 44 per cent from 10,867 units last year to 6,063 units
this year. In the Atlantic region, 244 new units were started in March 2009
compared to 522 units during the same period in 2008.
New home construction in Canada is slowing to more sustainable levels and
starts are forecast to come in at 160,250 units, within a range of 141,000 to
180,000 units in 2009. These trends are reflected in the year-to-date actual
starts. These decreases, however, should be viewed in the context that housing
starts have been exceptionally strong over the past 7 years, exceeding 200,000
units per year.

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 - homes that will continue to create vibrant
and healthy communities and cities across the country.



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(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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PRELIMINARY URBAN MONTHLY HOUSING STARTS
NOVA SCOTIA SUMMARY
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
2009 2008 YEAR-TO-DATE
---------------- % Change ---------------- % Change
MAR MAR 2009 2008
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
ALL URBAN CENTRES WITH POPULATIONS GREATER THAN 50,000
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
HALIFAX CMA
Single 40 75 -46.7% 104 204 -49.0%
Multiple 49 184 (xx) 170 219 -22.4%
TOTAL 89 259 (xx) 274 423 -35.2%
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CAPE BRETON RGM
Single 6 10 (xx) 14 22 -36.4%
Multiple 0 0 0.0% 10 6 --
TOTAL 6 10 (xx) 24 28 -14.3%
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
ALL URBAN CENTRES WITH POPULATION GREATER THAN 10,000
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
ALL CENTRES (*)
Single 66 112 -41.1% 165 301 -45.2%
Multiple 55 259 (xx) 200 312 -35.9%
TOTAL 121 371 (xx) 365 613 -40.5%
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
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.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------


-------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
PRELIMINARY URBAN QUARTERLY HOUSING STARTS
NOVA SCOTIA SUMMARY
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
2009 2008 YEAR-TO-DATE
---------------- % Change ---------------- % Change
Q1 Q1 2009 2008
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
ALL URBAN CENTRES WITH POPULATIONS GREATER THAN 10,000
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
HALIFAX CMA
Single 104 204 -49.0% 104 204 -49.0%
Multiple 170 219 -22.4% 170 219 -22.4%
TOTAL 274 423 -35.2% 274 423 -35.2%
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
CAPE BRETON RGM
Single 14 22 -36.4% 14 22 -36.4%
Multiple 10 6 (xx) 10 6 (xx)
TOTAL 24 28 -14.3% 24 28 -14.3%
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
TRURO CA
Single 5 18 -72.2% 5 18 -72.2%
Multiple 0 22 (xx) 0 22 (xx)
TOTAL 5 40 (xx) 5 40 (xx)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
KENTVILLE CA
Single 4 4 0.0% 4 12 -66.7%
Multiple 2 4 -50.0% 4 6 -33.3%
TOTAL 6 8 -25.0% 8 18 -55.6%
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
NEW GLASGOW CA
Single 5 7 -28.6% 5 7 -28.6%
Multiple 2 9 -77.8% 2 9 -77.8%
TOTAL 7 16 -56.3% 7 16 -56.3%
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OTHER URBAN
CENTRES
Single 33 46 -28.3% 33 46 -28.3%
Multiple 16 52 -69.2% 16 52 -69.2%
TOTAL 49 98 -50.0% 49 98 -50.0%
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
ALL CENTRES(*)
Single 165 301 -45.2% 165 301 -45.2%
Multiple 200 312 -35.9% 200 312 -35.9%
TOTAL 365 613 -40.5% 365 613 -40.5%
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
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.

Contact Information

  • For further information: Matthew Gilmore, Senior Market Analyst, Canada
    Mortgage and Housing Corporation, (902) 426-4686, mgilmore@cmhc-schl.gc.ca;
    For more information, visit www.cmhc.ca or call 1-800-668-2642