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August 16, 2012 9:00 AM, EDT

Housing Starts Drop 1.1%

Housing starts fell 1.1% in July, the Commerce Department said Thursday. 

Starts fell to an annual rate of 746,000 units, from 754,000 in June.

The level was lower than economists’ median forecast of a 756,000 rate, Bloomberg reported.

Single-family home starts, fell 6.5% to a 502,000 rate, the first decline since February.

Work on multifamily units, which are often more volatile, rose 12 % to an annual rate of 244,000, a five -month high.

Starts dropped 5.3% in the West, but building permits in that region jumped 14% in July.