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California building permits set to hit record low

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California builders are likely to pull only about 72,000 permits to build new homes in 2008 -- one-third the number issued in 2005 and the lowest number since tracking began in 1954, the California Building Industry Association said today.Single-family permits issued in July totaled 3,023, down 48 percent from a year ago and 25 percent from June, CBIA said, citing statistics compiled by Construction Industry Research Board. Multifamily permits totaled 2,145, down 40 percent from a year ago and 19 percent from June. For the first seven months of the year, permits issued were down 44 percent from a year ago, to 41,823. Single-family permits were down 54 percent, while multifamily permits dropped 24 percent. Riverside and San Bernardino accounted for 30 percent of the decline in single-family permits issued during the first seven months of the year, CBIA said. Although multifamily permits issued are up in San Francisco, Riverside-San Bernardino and Sacramento, that's largely because of ne...