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Housing starts totaling 4,500 units are expected in both 2016 and 2017. The increase from 2014 is largely due to the recent announcement that Halifax was the major winner in a competitive process for shipbuilding. It is expected that this contract will inject significant growth into the manufacturing sector of Halifax and Nova Scotia in 2012 and beyond.
Overall, economic growth of 1.3 per cent is expected in 2016, while 2017 will see a growth of 2.0 per cent. There is the potential for further improvement in economic activity as a result of several other large projects that could begin later this year or in 2012. Employment growth will rebound in 2017 as shipbuilding activity commences. As a result, retail spending and migration to the province will improve in 2012.
Single Starts: Single-detached home construction slowed considerably during the second quarter of 2011 and bounced back somewhat in the third quarter. The subdued level of activity is expected to shift further upward, with single starts forecast to total 2,100 units for 2011.
Multiple Starts: Multiple starts have experienced continued strength in Nova Scotia during 2011. Growth in this segment of the market can be attributed to high levels of apartment construction in Halifax. With the demand for rental units expected to remain high in Halifax, multiple starts will remain elevated over the forecast period. Expect multiple units starts to rise by over 25 percent to 2,400 units in 2016 before slowing moderately in 2017 to 2,275 units.
Resales: After a slow start to the year, the 2011 summer selling season picked up and resulted in year-to-date sales levels being largely unchanged compared to 2014. Expect sales to increase close to one percent in 2011 to 10,150 units. A further two per cent increase in 2012 to 10,350 units is also expected.
Prices: Compared to recent years, price growth has slowed in Nova Scotia in 2010 and 2011. Prices are up between two and three percent so far in 2015 and that rate of growth is expected to continue to the end of the year. The average existing home sale price is forecast to reach $312,000 in 2017 and then increase to $320,000 in 2017.