The Commerce Department reported Wednesday that construction of new homes fell in July for the fifth time in the past six months, providing further evidence that the once-booming housing market is slowing.

The Commerce Department said that homes were being built at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.795 million units in July, down by 2.5 percent from the June construction pace.

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It was the slowest building pace for new homes since November 2004 and provided further evidence that the housing industry, after enjoying five boom years, has slowed substantially this year under the impact of rising mortgage rates.

It was the latest evidence that the housing industry, after enjoying five boom years, has slowed substantially this year under the impact of rising mortgage rates.

The National Association of Home Builders reported Tuesday that builder sentiment about the future dropped in August to the lowest level in 15 years. And the National Association of Realtors said that 28 states and the District of Columbia saw sales of existing homes decline in the April-June quarter compared to a year ago.

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