In its monthly California Housing Report, Bank of America said that February's housing starts decreased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 221,300 units. Reductions were evenly distributed throughout the industry, with single-family starts declining 8.9% to 109,800 units and multifamily construction decreasing 6.8% to 111,500 units. Construction of buildings with five or more units fell 5% but remained 9% above year-earlier figures. B of A economists Michael Smith-Heimer and Michael Salkin said that, despite the decline, February starts were only 2.5% below year-earlier levels. This was impressive given the high level of construction last year. Sales of existing homes paralleled statewide construction, declining 10.4% during February to an annualized rate of 344,642 units.