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US Builders Start Work on Fewer Homes in June

The latest numbers from the Commerce Department offer a mix of optimism and concern.

Fri July 19, 2013 - National Edition
Christopher S. Rugaber - AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. builders started work on fewer homes and apartments in June, though the slowdown wasn’t enough to suggest the housing recovery is faltering.

The Commerce Department says developers began construction at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 836,000 homes in June. That was nearly 10 percent below May’s total of 928,000, which was revised higher. Most of the drop occurred in apartments, where starts fell almost 27 percent.

Applications for permits to build single-family homes rose for the third straight month to 624,000, the highest since May 2008. Overall permits fell to 911,000 in June from 985,000 in May, which was also revised higher.

Despite June’s decline, builders started work on 10 percent more homes in June compared with a year earlier. And permits are 16 percent higher than a year ago.

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