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May 18, 2021, 8:37 a.m. EDT

Housing starts fall as builders contend with shortage of materials and labor

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By Jacob Passy

U.S. home builders started construction on homes at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 1.57 million in April, representing a 9.5% decrease from the previous month's downwardly-revised figure, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Tuesday . Compared with April 2020 though, housing starts were up 67%, though the year-over-year comparison is skewed somewhat by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic's onset a year ago. The pace of permitting for new housing units increased again in March. Permitting for new homes occurred at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 1.76 million, up 0.3% from March and 61% from a year ago. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected housing starts to occur at a pace of 1.70 million and building permits to come in at a pace of 1.77 million.

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