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News Summary: Builders start work on fewer homes

The Associated Press

In this Thursday, June 27, 2013, photo, a construction worker is shown atop a roof at sunrise to beat daytime high temperatures in Queen Creek, Ariz. The Commerce Department releases housing starts for June on Tuesday, July 16, 2013. (AP Photo/Matt York)

FEWER HOUSING STARTS: U.S. builders started work on fewer homes in June. Work began at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 836,000 homes in June, down from May's revised total of 928,000 and the fewest since August 2012.

THE CAUSE: Most of the drop occurred in apartments, where starts fell almost 27 percent in June from May. Despite the decline, builders started work on 10 percent more homes last month compared with a year earlier.

THE OUTLOOK: Applications for permits to build single-family houses rose for the third straight month to 624,000, the highest since May 2008. That suggests home construction should rebound in the coming months.