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Housing Starts in U.S. Fall 4.8% in May on Apartments

Builders broke ground on more single-family houses for a third consecutive month in May and rising construction permits pointed to further gains, showing the residential real-estate market is weathering the U.S. economic slowdown.

Work began on 516,000 one-family houses at an annual rate last month, up 3.2 percent from April and the most this year, the Commerce Department reported today in Washington. A slump in construction of apartments, which is often volatile, led to an unexpected drop in total housing starts.