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CMHC estimates N.S. will not meet housing demands for years


The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) says the record-breaking population growth in Nova Scotia is preventing the province from meeting housing demands.

According to the CMHC Housing Market Outlook report, new home construction in Halifax is expected to increase, but the completion of those projects is behind where they need to be.

“Given the level of population growth we’ve seen, we need to address both supply and demand,” said Kelvin Ndoro, CMHC’s economics lead.

The report showed while Nova Scotia is already seeing a record number of new units under construction, the completion of the projects is still lagging behind by roughly three years.

“In trying to complete these projects they’re also having to compete for the same labour in starting new projects.” Said Ndoro. “At the same time expect to see a slowdown in the rate of completion just because there isn’t enough labour to go around.”

Roughly 8,700 primarily apartment units are being built since February, according to the Nova Scotia Real Estate Association.

“We only have just over 360 single family units that are being constructed, so that 8,700 number, that’s new units over the next two or three years that we can see coming to fruition,” said Suzanne Gravel, president of the Nova Scotia Real Estate Association.

Construction in Dartmouth, N.S. (Hafsa Arif/CTV Atlantic)With the housing demands so high, the cost of homes has also increased, surpassing many buyers’ budgets.

“Most popular pricing of homes that does not last on our markets between to $300-$500,000. That’s is our fastest off the market homes,” said Gravel.

This is in-turn driving up rental costs, which is something the province has been seeing since the pandemic.

“Right now it’s leaving a lot of people continuing to rent and the challenge with that is that renting is not especially affordable either so you’ve got this situation where people feel like they don’t have a buying opportunity, but are also getting squeezed on the rental side of things,” said Nova Scotia realtor Chandler Haliburton.

As of now, Nova Scotia has 854 homes that are on the market within that range; 149 of them are in the Halifax-area.

Much of the new construction around the city is for rental units and Haliburton said that addresses another existing market issue.

“When you build on building, you can potentially add 100 units to the market. Housing doesn’t work the same. You could do a whole street and if you’re lucky you might add 16 units of single family homes,” he said.

For more Nova Scotia news visit our dedicated provincial page. Top Stories

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