The rate of housing starts fell to the lowest level in a decade in July, falling an estimated 20.9 percent below the July 2006 rate, according U.S. Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development announced today. The seasonally adjusted annual rate of building permits dropped an estimated 22.6 percent year-over-year in July and housing completions were down about 22.2 percent, the agencies also reported. This rate is a projection of a monthly total over a 12-month period, adjusted to account for seasonal fluctuations in construction activity. Today's report on construction statistics follows a Wednesday announcement by the National Association of Home Builders that an index gauging builders' confidence in the housing market hit its lowest level this month since January 1991. "Builders realize that issues related to mortgage credit cost and availability have become more acute, filtering some prospective buyers out of the market and prompting others to delay their decision ...
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