OTTAWA, ON -- A seasonal lull in condo and apartment construction was largely responsible for a 13.4% decline in housing starts in Canada.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts was 171,500 units in December, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). This is down from 198,200 units in November. The unofficial 2010 tally, which will be verified and reported next month, also represents a 2.6% decrease from the 2009 total of 176,100 units.

Urban multiple starts moderated by 20.1% in December to 84,500 units, while single urban starts moved lower by 2.6% to 64,600 units.

December’s seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts decreased by 45.4% in Ontario and by 9.8% cent In Atlantic Canada. Urban starts increased by 46.8% in British Columbia, by 13.5% in Québec, and by 0.7% in the Prairie Region.

Rural starts2 were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 22,400 units in December.

Source: Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation press release.

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