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News Summary: US housing starts highest in 4 years

Associated Press Modified: July 18, 2012 at 4:30 pm •  Published: July 18, 2012

RAISING THE ROOF: Housing starts rose 6.9 percent in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 760,000, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. That's the highest since October 2008.

PERMITS FALL: The number of permits to build homes, a sign of future construction, fell 3.7 percent to 755,000. That's down from a May level that was the highest since Sept. 2008. And permits to build single-family homes edged up to the highest level since March 2010.

BUILDING BOOST: The supply of new homes has shrunk to near record lows and foreclosures have stabilized. That's pushing developers to build more.