The U.S. Commerce Dept. reported that privately-owned housing starts in February were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 698,000, 1.1 percent below the revised January estimate of 706,000, but 34.7 percent above the February 2011 rate of 518,000. Single-family housing starts in February were at a rate of 457,000, 9.9 percent below the revised January figure of 507,000. The February rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 233,000.
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