Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. says there was a slowdown in housing construction starts in July, following a near-record high in the previous month.

The federal Crown corporation says the seasonally adjusted annualized rate of housing starts dropped to 206,314 units in July, from 246,200 in June.

Urban multiple-unit projects such as condos and apartments declined by 20.3% from June to 136,231 units in July, while single-detached urban starts decreased by 3.6% month-over-month to 53,862 units.

Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 16,221 units in July.

CMHC notes that the six-month trend for housing starts remained well above historical averages due to elevated levels of multi-unit housing starts in most major markets.

Read: Expect rising home prices in second half of 2018: Royal LePage

In a separate report, Statistics Canada says its national index of new housing prices edged up 0.1% in June, mainly due to higher construction costs.

July’s housing starts are well below their six- and 12-month averages and are more in the range of starts in 2016, said Avery Shenfeld, chief economist at CIBC Economics, in a research note.

“With a choppy series it’s much too early to call this an ‘aha’ moment, but it is consistent with our view that home building will be shifting to a drag on growth in 2019,” he said.

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