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Tuesday, September 19, 2006 2:35 PM ET
Housing starts fall 6% in August
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Privately owned housing starts in August totaled a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.665 million new homes, 6.0% below the revised July estimate of 1.772 million homes and 19.8% below the August 2005 rate of 2.075 million homes, according to a Sept. 19 U.S. Department of Commerce report.

Single-family housing starts in August fell 5.9% to a rate of 1.36 million compared to a rate of 1.445 million in July.

The August rate for units in buildings with at least five units was 265,000.

Privately owned housing completions fell 3.2% in August to a seasonally adjusted rate of 1.868 million, compared to the revised July estimate of 1.929 million. The August figure is 4.4% below the August 2005 rate of 1.954 million. The rate of single-family completions in August totaled 1.618 million, 2.5% below the July figure of 1.660 million.

The August rate for completions on units in buildings with at least five units was 230,000.

The number of authorized building permits for privately owned housing units fell 2.3% in August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.722 million permits, compared to the revised July rate of 1.763 million permits. The August rate is 21.9% below the year-ago estimate of 2.205 million permits.

The Department of Commerce said single-family permit authorizations decreased 3.5% to a rate of 1.279 million in August, compared to 1.325 million authorizations in the prior month.

Authorizations of units in buildings with at least five units totaled a rate of 370,000 in August.

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