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U.S. housing starts decline 10.6% in April

U.S. housing starts decline 10.6% in April (by Jeffry Bartash)

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - The start of construction on new U.S. homes fell 10.6% in April to an annual rate of 523,000, while permits declined 4.0%, the government reported Tuesday. Housing starts in March were revised up to 585,000 from an original reading of 549,000, according to Commerce Department data. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had expected housing starts in April to climb to an annual rate of 575,000 on a seasonally adjusted basis. Permits for new construction, viewed as a gauge of future demand, fell to an annual rate of 551,000 from March's upwardly revised level of 574,000. Permits for single-family homes, which account for three-quarters of the housing market, dropped 1.8% to an annual rate of 385,000 last month.