The rate of privately owned housing starts in April dropped 16.1 percent from a year ago to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.53 million, according to a joint announcement from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Despite the decline, April's rate -- which projects that month's total over a 12-month period and adjusts for seasonal fluctuations in activity -- was up approximately 2.5 percent from March, according to statistics. The agencies reported that the rate of single-family housing starts at 1.23 million was up approximately 1.6 percent from March. Privately owned housing units authorized by building permits were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.43 million in April, down nearly 9 percent from March and 28 percent lower than the April 2006 level. Single-family authorizations in April were at a rate of 1.06 million, 6 percent below March. As for completions, the seasonally adjusted annual rate for privately owned unit...
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