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Housing starts rise, building permits drop

Partially completed townhouses in Des Plaines, Ill., in March of 2010. (Tim Boyle/Bloomberg)

U.S. housing starts rose more than expected in January to their highest rate in four months but permits for future home construction dropped sharply after hefty gains the prior month, according to a government report on Wednesday that showed the housing market still bouncing along the bottom.

The Commerce Department said housing starts jumped 14.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 596,000 units, the highest since September. December’s starts were revised down to a 520,000-unit pace from the previously reported rate of 530,000 units. Get the full story »

Housing starts rise 10.5% in August

Home construction increased last month and applications for building permits also grew. But the gains were driven mainly by apartment and condominium construction, not the much larger single-family homes sector. Get the full story »