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Housing starts stumble in July as new-home construction churns gradually higher

Builders broke ground on fewer homes in July, but new-home construction continues to grind slowly and steadily higher, supporting a gradually improving housing market.

Housing starts ran at a 1.16 million seasonally adjusted annual rate, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. That’s 4.8% below June’s pace, and 5.6% lower compared to a year ago.

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