RTTNews - The U.S. Commerce Department announced that housing starts dropped 12.8 percent in April to an annual rate of 458,000 units. The result for March was revised to a rate of 525,000 units, a decline of 8.5 percent from the previous month.

Analysts had expected starts to rise to a pace of 540,000 units from the rate of 510,000 units that was originally reported for March.

Building permits, a measure of future home building, were also down, dropping 3.3 percent to an annual rate of 494,000 units.

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