FXstreet.com (Barcelona) - Starts of new houses have decreased slightly in December, remaining at levels relatively low compared to the last years average, according to data released by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

The seasonally adjusted rate of housing starts has dropped 0.4% to an annual rate of 177,400 in December, from 178,000 units in November.

The current rate of housing starts remains well below the 212,000 average yearly units in 2008, as Bob Dugan, Chief Economist at CMHC's Market Analysis Centre affirms: Housing starts in December were almost unchanged compared to November. At an estimated 212,366 units, housing starts in 2008 breached the 200,000 unit mark for a seventh consecutive year.