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New U.S. Housing Construction Exceeds Forecast in January

Builders broke ground on more homes than forecast in January, helped by warmer weather and adding to signs the U.S. residential real estate market is stabilizing.

Starts rose 1.5 percent to a 699,000 annual rate from December’s 689,000 pace that was stronger than previously reported, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey called for a rise to 675,000. Building permits, a proxy for future construction, also climbed.