The seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts fell to 196,125 in November, the third consecutive monthly decline.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation said Monday said the monthly pace was down from 203,487 the previous month.

"This decrease was mainly attributable to declines in single-detached and multi-unit housing construction in Ontario and British Columbia," CMHC's deputy chief economist Mathieu Laberge said.

The agency added that those regional declines were in part caused by a dropoff in presales compared to late 2010 and 2011.

A 45.6 per cent drop in starts in Atlantic Canada was primarily due to a decrease in multi-unit housing construction in Halifax, following higher than normal activity in October.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts decreased by four per cent to 174,323 units in November, with urban single starts off by 5.4 per cent to 58,606 units and urban multiple starts down 3.2 per cent to 115,717 units.

Across the country, the pace of home building fell 14.3 per cent in Ontario and 16.5 per cent in British Columbia, but rose 15.4 per cent in Quebec and 16.1 per cent in the Prairies.

"The drop in starts in Atlantic Canada was primarily due to a decrease in multi-unit housing construction in Halifax, following higher than normal activity in October," added Laberge.