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California real estate construction plummets

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Despite a decline in housing starts during October, housing construction for the year is expected to exceed production recorded in 2004, the California Building Industry Association reported. A total of 14,425 building permits were issued in October statewide, down 32.3 percent compared to September and down 15.8 percent from October 2004, according to figures compiled by the Burbank-based Construction Industry Research Board. CBIA Chief Economist Alan Nevin predicts a decrease in starts for the remainder of the year. "It is likely that permit activity will slow down in November and December, but even with that traditional year-end downturn, the industry will have produced a voluminous and broad range of single-family homes, condominiums and rental apartments in 2005," Nevin said. CIRB Research Director Ben Bartolotto said the drop-off in permits – which followed a surge in permits issued in September – may have been caused at least in part by builders pulling permits e...