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Home building off 11% in 'recovery'

For home builders, it hardly feels like an economic recovery.

Nearly two years after the recession ended, the pace of construction is inching along at less than half the level considered healthy. Single-family home building, the bulk of the market, has dropped 11 percent in that time. Builders are struggling to compete with waves of foreclosures that have forced down prices for previously occupied homes. Though new homes represent a small portion of overall sales, they have an outsize effect on jobs.

The Commerce Department said Tuesday that new-home construction plummeted in April to a seasonally adjusted rate of 523,000 homes per year. A major drop in volatile apartment building pulled down the monthly figures. -- AP

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