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Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. says the annual pace of housing starts ticked lower in March compared with February as urban starts of apartments, condos and other types of multiple-unit housing projects slowed.

The national housing agency says the seasonally adjusted rate of housing starts came in at 246,243 units, compared with 250,246 in February.

The drop came as the pace of urban starts slowed by two per cent to 220,708 in March.

The annual rate of multi-unit urban starts fell five per cent to 154,876, while the pace of single-detached urban starts rose eight per cent to 65,832.

Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 25,535 units.

The six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates of housing starts was 252,497 in March, down from 253,296 in February.

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