Foundations were poured for 1,805 residential units in metropolitan Montreal in March, a 12-per-cent decline compared to the same month a year ago, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.
That was improvement over February, when the number of starts dropped by 63 per cent.
CMHC attributed the decline to two factors, the tighter economic picture and a growing inventory of resales houses on the market. New home construction typically picks up when the resale market tightens.
The drop in construction was felt pretty much across the board, with freehold home starts down by 35 per cent, condo starts down 30 per cent and rental starts down 26 per cent.
The one category that bucked the trend was semi-detached and row housing, which rose by 40 per cent in March,, a modest gain of 76 new units.
The decline in new construction is good news for both vendors and agents. Less new inventory helps focus buyers' attention on the existing home market, where there are still plenty of good deals to be had, anyway.