TORONTO - Housing starts in Canada rose by a weaker-than-expected 0.7 percent in November but hit their highest level of the year on an increase in construction of single-family homes.

Housing starts rose to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 158,500 units from a revised 157,400 units in October, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp said.

The number of starts in November was slightly below the consensus expectation of analysts for 159,500 units. The October figure was revised up marginally from 157,300 units.

The Canadian dollar CAD=D3 was little changed around C$1.0560 to the U.S. dollar, or 94.70 U.S. cents, as market players were preparing for the Bank of Canada rate announcement at 9 a.m. (1400 GMT).

New construction of condominium and apartment buildings fell to 71,300 units from 72,500 units, while urban starts for single-family homes rose 3.4 percent to 69,800 units.

Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 17,400 units in November. (Reporting by Ka Yan Ng; Editing by Padraic Cassidy)