Summary Box: Housing starts down 5 pct. in August

AP News
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Posted: Sep 20, 2011 11:12 AM
Summary Box: Housing starts down 5 pct. in August

CONSTRUCTION DIPS: Builders began work on a seasonally adjusted 571,000 homes in August, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. That's a 5 percent decline from July and a three-month low.

SINGLE-FAMILY, APARTMENTS: Single-family homes, which represent roughly two-thirds of home construction, fell 1.4 percent. Apartment building plunged 12.4 percent. Building permits, a gauge of future construction, rose 3.2 percent.

BUILDERS WAITING: Home construction is down nearly 6 percent over the past year. But permits are up nearly 8 percent. That suggests builders aren't working on new homes, but may be preparing to start dormant projects when the economy improves.