Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. reported on Jan. 9th that housing starts for December were 195,760 compared to 197,797 in November.
In urban areas, CMHC notes, housing starts decreased by 5.1 percent to 168,214 units in December with declines in the Prairie provinces, Atlantic Canada and Ontario.
Another report from Statistics Canada showed that contractors took out $6.8 billion worth of building permits in November, down 6.7 percent from October. The drop was mainly attributable to weakening in the residential sector in Quebec and Ontario.
While the declines are far from catastrophic, analysts confirm that Canada's housing market has cooled down.
"We saw a pretty solid run-up in the early part of the year in home-building activity, but we have seen activity level off,” BMO Capital Markets senior economist Robert Kavcic said in a Canadian Press report.
Kavcic says the trend will continue: "As we look to 2014, we’re expecting activity to cool off a little bit further. Basically, what we’re going to see is homebuilders putting up houses at a rate that is required by the population.”