Home construction picks up in April

Monthly gains strongest for privately owned housing starts

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Although building permits and housing starts increased between March and April they were still significantly lower than a year ago, according to a government report released today.

The report from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development found that privately owned housing units authorized by building permits in April hit a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 978,000, up 4.9 percent from March’s rate of 932,000. However, this is 34.3 percent below the April 2007 estimate of 1.49 million.