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U.S. Single-Family Home Starts Rise to Four-Year High

Work began in January on the most U.S. single-family houses in over four years and permits for future projects climbed, setting the stage for construction to keep adding to economic growth in 2013.

Builders broke ground on 613,000 houses at an annualized rate last month, the most since July 2008 and up 0.8 percent from December, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. Total housing starts dropped to an 890,000 rate, lower than forecast and restrained by a slump in construction of multifamily units, which is often volatile.