Housing starts near 5-year high in February

Builder confidence lags on tight lending and low appraisals

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Homebuilders were a lot busier in February than they were a year ago, starting construction on 27.7 percent more units.

Aside from the 982,000 mark seen in December 2012, February’s seasonally adjusted annual rate of 917,000 home starts was the highest since July 2008 when it reached 949,000.