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Housing starts, permits rise; future 'looking promising'

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By The Associated Press
Tuesday, March 19, 2013, 5:57 p.m.

Housing starts, permits continue rise

Builders started more homes in February and permits for construction rose at the fastest pace in 4½ years. The increases point to a housing recovery that is gaining strength.

The Commerce Department said Tuesday that builders broke ground on houses and apartments last month at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 917,000. That's up from 910,000 in January. And it's the second-fastest pace since June 2008, behind December's rate of 982,000.

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