Economic Report: Housing starts ease to 1.17 million rate in April after strong first quarter

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A worker carries lumber as he builds a new home in Petaluma, California.

The pace of home construction eased in April as builders took a breather after a strong start to the year.

Housing starts ticked down 2.6% to a 1.17 million annual pace, the Commerce Department said Tuesday, and stood just 0.7% higher than in the same month last year. Permits fell 2.5% to a 1.23 million pace in April. That was 5.7% higher than a year ago.

The MarketWatch consensus forecast was for a 1.26 million pace of starts.

Builders broke ground on more single-family homes in April: starts of single-family homes ran at a pace of 835,000 in April.

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