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Housing starts and permits both fall sharply in July to levels not seen since 1991 recession.
By Chris Isidore, CNNMoney.com senior writer
Last Updated: August 19, 2008: 11:33 AM EDT
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Home building fell sharply in July to a 17-year low, according to government readings released Tuesday that offered fresh signs that the battered real estate market has yet to hit bottom.
Housing starts plunged 11% to an annual rate of 965,000 from a revised 1.084 million pace in June, according to the Census Bureau report. Economists surveyed by Briefing.com had forecast starts would fall to a rate of 960,000.
Permits - often seen as a sign of builders' confidence in the housing market - tumbled 17% to an annual rate of 937,000 from a revised 1.138 million in June. Economists had forecast that permits would come in at 959,000.