Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. says the annual pace of housing starts slowed by 7.3% in March.
The national housing agency says the seasonally adjusted annual rate of starts last month came in at 195,174 units, down from 210,574 in February.
Economists had expected an annual pace of 180,000 for March, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.
It says the annual pace of urban starts also slowed by 7.3% to 182,553 on a seasonally adjusted basis. The annual rate of multi-unit urban starts, such as apartments, condos and townhouses, fell 13.4% to 124,073, while single-detached urban starts increased 8.8% to 58,480.
Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 12,621 units.
The moving average of seasonally adjusted annual rates of housing starts was 204,717 in March, down from 209,109 in February.