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Housing starts declined in March

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Housing starts fell 5.8 percent from February to March, according to The Wall Street Journal. Construction decreased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 654,000.

However, the decline mainly was a result of a 16.9 percent drop for homes with at least two units, which is a volatile part of the market.

Additionally, single-family construction, which made up 71 percent of housing starts in February, dropped 0.2 percent from February to March.

The housing starts figure was far below economists' forecast for a 0.7 percent gain. But with nearly steady single-family building and permits increasing, the market seems to be improving slowly.

March housing starts are up about 37 percent compared with April 2009, the lowest recorded level. Still, starts are down more than 71 percent compared with January 2006, the highest level of the housing bubble. Since 1959, about 1.5 million new homes on average have been started each year.


5/3/2012

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