US housing starts edge higher in July

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Washington - Growth in US home construction slowed in July after a strong surge the previous month, Commerce Department data released on Tuesday showed.

Housing starts rose 0.2% to an annual rate of 1.206 million, the highest pace since October 2007, before the Great Recession, and in line with analyst expectations.

The June surge was revised upward to a 12.3% increase month over month.

Compared with a year ago, July housing starts were up 10.1%, as the housing market recovers from the severe 2008-2009 recession.

The July increase was entirely due to starts on single-family homes, the largest part of the market, which jumped 12.8%.

Construction of multi-family units, which tends to be volatile, dropped 17%.

Building permits, an indicator of future activity, tumbled 16.3% in July to an annual rate of 1.119 million, below the consensus estimate of 1.257 million. Permits were up 7.5% from July 2014.

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