OTTAWA - Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. says the pace of housing construction slowed in August, mostly because of a decline in multi-unit projects.

The seasonally adjusted rate of housing starts last month was 182,703 units, down six per cent from 194,663 units in July.

CMHC says the six-month trend -- which smoothes out month-to-month variations -- slipped by about three per cent to 195,640 units started in August from 201,379 units started in July.

The bulk of the decline was due to a drop in multiple-unit dwellings in urban areas, which fell by 7.3 per cent month-over-month to 111,378 units in August, on a seasonally adjusted basis.

There was a smaller decline in urban single-detached houses in August, which fell by 3.7 per cent month-over-month to 56,501 units, seasonally adjusted.

CMHC says most of Canada's regions saw a decline in urban housing starts last month. Only Quebec showed an increase.

The agency officially released the monthly statistics on Thursday afternoon -- ahead of schedule -- due to a technical malfunction that published some of the information prematurely late Wednesday. The release was originally scheduled for Friday morning.