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UPDATE

Building slows as market cools

July 25, 2004|From Times wire reports

U.S. housing starts plunged 8.5% in June to their lowest level in more than a year as rising interest rates cooled the hot housing market.

Permits, a sign of builder confidence in future demand, fell to their lowest level since February, posting the biggest monthly decline in more than 10 years, the Commerce Department said.

Although the housing market decline has to some extent been expected as interest rates climb with the strengthening U.S. economy, some analysts saw the June data as a harbinger of the end of a multiyear boom.

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